FastFlight 540: Bump in the Night (Book 1)

Children - Fantasy/Sci-Fi
316 Pages
Reviewed on 08/26/2022
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Author Biography

M. M. Mesldorf has dedicated years to researching the Bump family — their odd origins, quirkiness, gifts, talents, and purported behaviors, as well as their extraordinary lives. Although millions have met the Bumps — no one remembers them. Yet Mesldorf has remained steadfast in this pursuit and has traveled the world, the planet, and beyond, to bring you their story. Unfortunately, this intrepid adventurer is directionally challenged, confusing right and left and north and south, and as a result, ends up in far flung places—perhaps even in your neighborhood. No matter. There is evidence that the Bumps have been there, too. And so, Mesldorf’s research continues. You can keep up to date and in the know by visiting

    Book Review

Reviewed by Pikasho Deka for Readers' Favorite

FastFlight 540 is the first book of the Bump in the Night series by M.M. Mesldorf. Wishing to help her friend Tucker Sullivan escape the cruel misery of Whippoorwill Children's Home, Anslie Dawn takes over his identity and arrives at the ancient orphanage of Nocturnan. On her very first night at her new home, she meets Xander Bump, the mysterious leader of a group of boys named the Mighty Men. The Mighty Men have a fierce rivalry with the Nighthawks, with whom they play the Garden Game for control over the nine gardens of Nocturnan. Anslie soon realizes that there is more to Xander than meets the eye when he disappears one day to fight in the Shadow Wars after his father's death. In the absence of Xander, can Anslie rise up and help the orphans of Nocturnan?

A fantasy adventure tale for children and young adults alike, FastFlight 540 is a stellar start to the Bump in the Night series. Author M.M. Mesldorf's novel follows the story of Anslie Dawn, a young girl who must navigate the bittersweet realities of her life amidst circumstances beyond her control. Full of heart, humor, and heroics, the narrative pulls you in from the first page, and you struggle to put it down until you've finished reading the book. Anslie and Xander have undeniable chemistry, and Anslie's scenes with the Mighty Men were some of my favorites from the novel. If you're itching for an exciting fantasy adventure tale, FastFlight 540 is the book for you.

Cloie Belle Daffon

FastFlight 540 is the first book in the Bump in the Night Series by M. M. Mesldorf. Anslie Dawn does not know how long it would take for people to realize that she was not the scrawny boy Tucker Sullivan. She disguised herself as him so she could stall Grimsly long enough for her friend to leave and find his uncle. In exchange, she will be the one sent in his stead to Nocturnan Boy’s Home. Anslie read in Orphan’s Quarterly that Nocturnan kept its boys fed. Nocturnan was known for its buttered biscuits smothered in homemade strawberry jam and Anslie was tired of being hungry all the time! She was looking forward to a better life but it all depended on keeping her true identity a secret. Join Anslie in her adventures disguised as a boy in Nocturnan Boy’s Home where she finds new friends and stumbles on a mystery!

Fastflight 540 was a fantastical story with a mysterious, eccentric, and interesting set of characters! Anslie was quick-witted and spunky. I couldn’t help but laugh at her antics and the misunderstanding she created with her new friends. It was so exciting to follow her antics as she pretends to be a boy in Nocturnan Boy’s Home. The story is a combination of mystery and adventure that had me eagerly turning the pages for more! The illustrations skillfully drawn by Rebecca Lemoine help bring the story to life! The clean, neat lines of her art perfectly represent the story M. M. Mesldorf wishes to tell and add to the excitement of Anslie’s adventures. The first book of the Bump in the Night Series was a fascinating and enthralling read. I could hardly put the book down! With its intricate plot, riveting characters, and unique setting, I would definitely rate this fantasy book a ten out of ten if I could! Outstanding work!

Kristine Zimmerman

Fast Flight 540: Bump in the Night by M. M. Mesldorf is a mix of adventure, mystery, and fantasy. Anslie Dawn is an orphan. She has been living at the Whippoorwill Children's Home with her friend Tucker Sullivan. Tucker has tried to escape multiple times and now he is supposed to be sent to a new home, Nocturnan Home for Boys. Anslie decides to switch places with him and heads to Nocturnan, which she has heard is a better place. Nocturnan does not live up to expectations at first, but it does become more interesting, especially when Xander Bump suddenly appears in her room. She joins him and his Mighty Men as they play the Garden Game with splashlights. How does Xander appear in her room, what are the mysterious shadows, and will Anslie's identity be discovered?

I thoroughly enjoyed Fast Flight 540: Bump in the Night. Anslie, Xander, and all the Mighty Men are interesting characters who must face their fears throughout the book. M. M. Mesldorf has created a fascinating world at Nocturnan with its distinctive gardens where the boys play the Garden Game with splashlights. Kids will wish they could join in. The black and white illustrations interspersed throughout the book are perfect. I especially enjoyed the garden map with its corresponding keys. Anslie is resilient and discovers how much she can change and influence things by trusting herself. Fast Flight 540: Bump in the Night is a world filled with intrigue and challenges that kids will enjoy immersing themselves in. It looks like more adventure is ahead for Anslie and Xander.

K.C. Finn

FastFlight 540 is a work of fiction in the science fiction subgenre and serves as the first installment of the Bump In The Night series. It is aimed at young readers and was penned by author M. M. Mesldorf. The book follows Anslie Dawn who agrees to swap lives with a young orphan to help him escape his unhappy life. Exploring the orphanage Nocturnan with her new friends as she works to keep the truth of her identity a secret, Anslie finds happiness in her new life that she had never felt before. That happiness is threatened by the strange Ninth Garden and the mystery behind it and Nocturnan.

It's always exciting to pick up the first installment in an exciting new adventure series, and this book delivers excellent world-building and exciting storytelling on every page. Author M. M. Mesldorf has created a stunning world for the characters to explore with excellent worldbuilding that establishes the lore of Nocturnan effectively and without interfering with the narrative. I particularly enjoyed Anslie’s characterization and the way she evolved throughout the book in response to the events of the narrative, growing and developing in a natural way that was a delight to read. The rest of the characters of the work are equally well established, each feeling fully fleshed out with their own needs that pushed the tale forward. Overall, FastFlight 540 is a strong opening for what promises to be an exciting series, establishing the world and characters whilst telling a complete and satisfying story in its own right.

Kimberlee J Benart

FastFlight 540: Bump in the Night (Book 1) is a fantasy chapter book for kids by M. M. Mesldorf with illustrations by Rebecca Lemoine. Anslie and Tucker live in a children’s home where food is anything but generous. Tucker wants to escape so he can find his uncle, but he’s being transferred to another orphanage, the Nocturnan Boys Home. Having heard that the boys are fed well there, Anslie offers to take his place, so the home’s headmaster will be looking for her rather than Tucker when it’s discovered that she’s missing. But Nocturnan isn’t at all what Anslie expected; cold and unwelcoming at first. And then she meets the mysterious Xander Bump, and the adventures begin. Will Anslie find the happiness she longs for, and can she become herself again?

In FastFlight 540: Bump in the Night, M. M. Mesldorf gives us a wonderful heroine in Anslie and an inspiring leader in Xander Bump. The story is imaginatively told, taking the reader from the unhappiness at the children’s home to the strange ivy-covered Nocturnan, which doesn’t seem a happy place either, to the gardens, games, adventures, and challenges that follow. Xander’s down-to-earth wisdom threads throughout, bolstering Anslie’s self-esteem after years of being told that she’s a worthless orphan with no name, and bringing out the best in his followers and friends while he cautions them away from the shadows of lies and deceit that would squash their spirits. The twists and turns of the plot are engaging, and the narrative is well-paced. I look forward to Book 2.