Posted in Book Review

Aldo’s Fantastical Movie Palace by Jonathan Friesen


RATING: 🌕🌕🌕🌕🌑

Publisher: Zonderkidz

Publication Date: August 11, 2012

Format: Hardcover

Pages: 303


“Glorious failures are often much more wonderful than easy victories.”



In the Darkness of this Theater, Anything Can Happen The family’s broken-down theater has always been a safe place for Chloe. There, no one can see the scars that line her face—scars her inventor father accidentally caused, leaving even deeper wounds between them. In the darkness, she meets Nick, a boy with his own hurts. While Nick isn’t the most pleasant companion, a rocky friendship is formed over their love of films. Soon the two are working on a movie script about a fantastical world—one that suddenly comes alive on the screen. Chloe and Nick are transported into an adventure beyond what they ever imagined, filled with dragons, magical pools, and a sinister vapor that threatens to destroy everyone. But when tragedy strikes, Chloe must find the courage to step out of the shadows and find what she’s always longed for.



Aldo’s Fantastical Movie Palace is one of the few middle-grade books that I’ve enjoyed. The story is about Chloe, a child who has a scar that was caused by her own father, and Blake, a blind kid. Each character deals with their own issues in their life. They do not really get along so well and they are off to a rough start. But as Chloe and Blake became acquainted with each other because of a script that Blake started they became involved with something that is way beyond their imagination. The story gets very interesting when Chloe and Blake were transported inside the movie in Aldo’s Movie Palace.

I have to admit that at the first part of the book, I’m so confused but come to think of it, there is nothing confusing in the story. There are a lot of things that has been going on as soon as Chloe and Blake were transported inside the movie. The world building is very good for a stand-alone fantasy book plus the book has a mapped which makes it easier to imagine the place. Nonetheless, I do not feel the thrill of the climax of the book or I do not really recognize which part is the climax. But as the story is nearing its end, I’m dying to find out what would happen in the story. The ending of the book is okay. Well, it is expected that Chloe and Blake would come out of the movie. But what I don’t like is the ending. The ending feels rush for me. There are questions on my mind that I wish the author has given an answer to. And the connection of the “mystery” that happens to Chloe and Blake to the Movie Palace. It could have been longer and I wouldn’t mind.

It’s really good although the ending somehow drags the story down for me. But all in all, it has a good plot and the story is enjoyable with a touch of moral lesson for kids. You should check it out, and if you have read it then let me know what’s your thought. 🙂


A reader who becomes a villain, a queen, a princess, a heroine, and a warrior depends on the story that she reads. A dreamer who wishes to dwell in the world that she visited through the pages of her book. A frustrated blogger who wishes to put into words the frustration, boredom, and excitement that she felt throughout her many journeys outside the real world.

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