I have recently purchased two books:  Escape From the Forbidden Planet (book #1) and Return to Cardamom (book #2).  I am already waiting for book three in this trilogy!
It is so fun to find a new author, Julie Anne Grasso, who presents a positive future instead of a dystopian society.

The protagonist is a female teen who suffers from constant leg pain from a past accident and still accomplishes great tasks like saving her planet.  Given the current popularity of dystopian fiction, it is delightful and unusual to find a blend of adventure and hope where the future isn’t unbearable. Escape from the Forbidden Planet is book one, and I made a free printable for this book.

In this book, Caramel (the heroine, an elf) is brave in many ways, such as traveling alone through the rainforest in an auto-piloted technologically advanced vehicle.  She is brave as she deals with her leg and her fears, which provides a good role model for readers. People do not believe her when she tells of a large dangerous looking creature in the rainforest, as Cardamom is such a peaceful place.

Free Units for Novels by Julie Anne Grasso

Elves are able to read the minds of others so they are confident thinking nothing sinister could happen.  Of course, pride goeth before the fall, and there is quite a great storyline that follows. Caramel gets all the way to the forbidden planet, Earth, which is quite a twist of perspective and will be fun to discuss with students.  How does a female elf save her planet?  She uses quick thinking, talent, determination, persistence, hard work, and bravery.  There is no magic wand!  Caramel is also a humble person, which makes her immensely likable.

Free Units for Novels by Julie Anne Grasso

Most unusually for the second book in a trilogy, Return to Cardamom does not rehash book one or merely set the stage for book three.  While it’s not necessary, I recommend reading Book 1 for its own pleasure. I liked this series so much I wrote a FREE 30-page student work page printable for book two.  Teachers and homeschools can select pages to use. The pages of comprehension questions also work as a teacher discussion guide for book groups.  (please scroll down for the book one freebie)

Free Units for Novels by Julie Anne Grasso

About Return to Cardamom

Title: Return to Cardamom (Caramel Cardamom Trilogy, Book #2) Author: Julie Anne Grasso Publisher: Independent Publication Date: July 17, 2013 Pages: 136 (Paperback) Recommended Age: 9+ Summary: Life is sweet for Caramel and things are finally getting back to normal. Well, as normal as it can be for a telepathic elf who can train trees and control computers, but she soon finds life on Cardamom is not all cupcakes and apple cider. A saboteur is hiding in the rainforest canopy, and the elves’ precious cardamom export has been wiped out. Caramel is certain it’s another trick of Alexander222 and her Aunt Isabel, but no one will believe her, and the clock is ticking. She must expose the saboteur in time to save the crop or the Elves of Cardamom will lose their livelihood. Caramel won’t rest until her theory is proven. While she is on the hunt, she makes a shocking discovery, one that will change everything.

About Julie Ann Grasso

Julie Anne Grasso is an Australian author with a background in pediatric nursing. She spent many years literally wrapping children in cotton wool. Every day she witnessed great courage and resilience from the tiny people she cared for, which inspired her to write stories about a little girl elf just like them. Add in some very funky technology, her love of science fiction and desire to impart great values through her little girl elf named Caramel and there you have it, the Adventures of Caramel Cardamom Trilogy was the result. Julie lives in Melbourne with her husband Danny and their little elf Giselle. Most days she can be found sipping chai lattes, chasing a toddler, and dreaming up wonderful worlds that often involve consumption of cupcakes.

Book Website: http://www.julieannegrassobooks.com/

Author Blog: WhenIgrowupIwannawriteakidsbook

Facebook page: Julie Anne Grasso Books

Twitter: @Jujuberry37

Goodreads Author: Julie Anne Grasso

When book three is released, I will be making a free supplement for that book, too. A sneak peek of book 3 is available on Goodreads, at this link.  It is available in the free Ask Julie Grasso group on Goodreads.

“Julie Anne Grasso has created an action-packed story featuring a range of interesting and imaginative characters (i.e., elves, the Alexanders, and other creatures), intergalactic travel, advanced medical and scientific technology, and complex environmental and conservation issues. Escape From the Forbidden Planet contains an intricate plot which slowly unfolds until you’re hooked and you are left on the edge of your proverbial seat wondering what will happen next.” ~ Mother Daughter Book Reviews, 5 Stars

Other blog posts about Return to Cardamom:

Thanks for reading, Carolyn