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Children have a wonderful imagination and usually want to use it to do something special, like be a superhero who helps others or travel to mystical places. Yet, even children learn that if life offers an opportunity to enter a magical world, it is still necessary to balance it with the real world. Most people would like to add some magic to their lives, the kind of magic that adds excitement to life and solves life’s problems, but everyone needs to learn that within each person at any age is the power to meet any challenge. The stories of the adventures of Cheryl as she struggles to deal with the realities of school bullies and despondent parents while figuring out her role in a magical world are captivating.
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Earthen Elements: The Beginning
The story opens with the main character, Cheryl, explaining she is starting the fifth grade but is not eager to do so. Her best friend has moved, and her brother is gone. The author describes watching her friend leave and the circumstances leading up to her brother disappearing.READ NOW
The story opens with the main character, Cheryl, explaining she is starting the fifth grade but is not eager to do so. Her best friend has moved, and her brother is gone. The author describes watching her friend leave and the circumstances leading up to her brother disappearing. The descriptions of fellow students and life in elementary school are bound to make most readers reminisce about their personal childhood experiences.
One day, the narrator unexpectedly finds a black chain with a red gemstone in her backpack. She taps it three times, and that starts her magical adventures. Entering the magical portal, she meets the person who is the keeper of the six Earthen Elements gemstones and learns she is in the magical world of Majia. Cheryl is given the Fire Element.
Cheryl learns why she was chosen to enter the portal, what is expected of her and how to return to earth. She is called to return to Majia at unexpected times, is assigned an earth partner to help her fulfill her mission, and trains for her
assignment. Cheryl makes a new friend at school, but school life is difficult. She eventually heeds the advice like that given in the book How to Win Friends and Influence People to make her situation work for her instead of always being a victim.
A signal to return to Maja becomes an escape. So why is Cheryl in Majia? There is a purpose, which is the storyline for the fantasy part of the story as Cheryl goes on various missions. Majia is filled with imaginative characters, places and things, including pixies and unicorns, but even magical places can have problems based on greed, jealousy and a desire for power. Having an imagination is fun, but as the book Stumbling on Happiness explains, the imagination can have shortcomings too. Cheryl is called periodically to Majia but also finds she wants to return home when things get tiresome.
At school, Cheryl develops a friendship with a classmate named Xavia. As it is for most children, many misunderstandings and emotions are involved. The two girls must learn how to deal with the challenges that always accompany relationships. Cheryl also learns that people are more successful when they have positive interactions with others, as the book Give and Take discusses.
The juxtaposition of missions to Majia and life at home and school is only one of the contrasts. Cheryl and her partner in Majia have very different personalities and perspectives. There is a contrast between good and bad people and good and evil forces. Earthen Elements is considered a fantasy book because of the magical place Cheryl enters through a portal while never losing time in the real world. However, it is just as much about managing in the real world – managing personal feelings, parents, bullies, friends, school teachers and others. This explains the book's classification in the Family Life category.
Earthen Elements is a well-written story with descriptions that easily flow from one to the other. When writing a book like this, it is easy to let the descriptions become trite or too childish, and Daoud does an excellent job of avoiding this pitfall. In fact, one mild criticism is that Cheryl sometimes uses the language of an adult rather than a 10-year-old child. For example, she mentions finding "closure" concerning her brother.
However, the descriptions are precise, effortlessly evoking images in the reader's mind without ever becoming too long and risking becoming boring. That includes the descriptions of the magical lands that Cheryl and her partner encounter during their quest and while at school or home. The parallel storylines mean there is no time to get bored with either Cheryl's life on earth or life in Majia. The next book in the series will pick up where Earthen Elements The Beginning ends. Readers will realize at the end of Daoud's first book that they want to continue reading about Cheryl, Xavia and their exploits.
Christin Daoud was born on January 12, 2001, in Morton Grove, Chicago, IL. She lives with her parents and two younger identical twin brothers. After earning her college degree, she aims to become a high school mathematics teacher. Daoud is currently attending North Park University in Chicago. Daoud developed the concept of the book Earthen Elements while a high school freshman. She envisioned Earthen Elements as a series and began writing the first book in her second year of high school. This is her first book, but there will be more in the future as Earthen Elements – The Beginning is the first book in her planned series.
Earthen Elements is available for purchase on Amazon and other book-selling sites, including Bookshop.org and Barnes & Noble. You can follow Christin Daoud on Instagram.
Lee creates a touching story of growth crafted from adolescent struggles in the belly of the beast set in the fast-paced hustle and bustle of New York City. Each person has unique gifts within themselves, and how those gifts are used is a personal choice. You can take the road of good or evil, which determines your destiny.