LEHI — Sadie Mull, 9, loves book launches.
She has gone to the launch of every book written by her dad, author Brandon Mull.
Her dad loves them, too.
"One of the most enjoyable things that I do is book launches," he said. "This one for 'The Arcade Catastrophe' is the funniest."
What Sadie doesn't like is when her dad is gone promoting the books all around the country for weeks at a time.
"I dislike it a lot," she said. "I always miss him a ton while he is gone."
Brandon Mull typically launches his books in Utah and then travels after that. In fact, this weekend, he is in Walnut Creek, Calif., signing books. That will be followed by stops in Southern California, Arizona, Illinois, Missouri and eventually, New York.
At the launch for this newest chapter book — the second installment in the Candy Shop War series — Brandon Mull ran through an obstacle course with his daughter and five other kids. During the event, hundreds of kids threw marshmallows at them — more than 2000 pounds. With all of this excitement over a book, it better be good. Brandon Mull hopes it is. "I write books that I would like to read," he said.
No worries for him: "The Candy Shop War, Vol. 2: Arcade Catastrophe" (Shadow Mountain, $18.99) is good — it lives up to all of the hoopla.
The story involves five friends: Summer, Lindy, Pigeon, Nate and Trevor. They have noticed something strange going on in Arcadeland — a newly opened arcade in the next town over.
The group of friends investigates the arcade and finds that there are four different hand stamps that can be bought for 40,000 or 50,000 tickets.
Lindy and Nate earn the first stamps and become part of the Jet Club. They can fly. The other three kids soon join the rest of the clubs: The Tanks, who are scary strong; the Subs, who can swim and breathe underwater; and the Racers, who can run three to four times faster than anyone else.
The teams compete and the losers unexpectedly become prisoners. The winners get the other kid's stamps and their powers.
The evil magician, Jonas White, is using the kids help him retrieve "Uweya," the most powerful controlling object in the world. Nate, Summer, Pigeon, Trevor and Lindy go along, but their mission is to stop Jonas before he gets his hands on Uweya and controls the world.
Brandon Mull said that he was never planning to write a sequel, but so many readers asked him to that he finally gave in. He now knows that there will be a third book as well. He has also written the Fablehaven series and the Beyonders, along with a picture book series about Pingo. He lives in Highland with his wife and kids. "Arcade Catastrophe" came out Oct. 23.
You can tell that I love this book because I have read it four times already. You will become lost in the magic every time you read it, too.
Kate De Groote is in sixth grade and writes for Connect 123, part of the Deseret News' Newspapers in Education program.