We really enjoyed the Wizard for Hire series, by the same author, and while this one was good, it wasn't good enough for us to continue on to the other books. We do recommend it as a summer series starter, however.
In the town of Tin Culvert, a very special tree named Geth has watched over Leven Thumps for as long as the boy's lived in the trailer under its boughs. His mean half-Aunt makes him sleep on the porch, and it's not until he's 14 that Leven sees a shadow -- not just any shadow, but an evil, seeping, creeping shadow -- trying to find him.
Terrified, he asks his aunt if he can sleep inside, and she won't allow it. That's when kindly sycophant Clover appears from under his bed, and explains -- or rather, he doesn't, it takes a while for Leven to piece it all together -- that the great wizard Antsel sent him, many years ago, to protect Leven.
They're waiting for...something, but Clover won't come right out and say what. Leven learns he can draw lightning, and uses it to defend himself against bullies.
At the same time, Winter Frore is learning she really isn't like other teen girls. Her hair can frost over and become a slicing, biting weapon against her evil mother Janet; she can freeze an entire classroom of students in their tracks.
They're each dreaming of the other. Winter hops a bus to Oklahoma and they meet up, defeat some bullies, learn all about Foo and how Leven has to save it. It takes a bit longer than they thought it would to get started, however.
The powerful tree Geth is waylaid -- chopped down and turned into toothpicks -- but eventually his "core" or "soul" finds its way back to Leven.
He tells Leven all about the evil Sabine, who wants to breach the border between Foo and the real world. He'll stop at nothing -- sending his shadows and enormous monsters made out of mud and rocks -- to keep Leven from saving Foo.
A fun, quick read for over the summer!