Friday, September 23, 2011

The Anguish of Growing Up

We The Animals by Justin Torres is a novel that reads like a family photo album.  Three brothers and their parents struggle with each other and outside influences that cause strife and lead to surprising discoveries.  This is Mr. Torres first novel.  It's a scant 144 pages but those pages are packed with intense emotions, disturbing situations and small acts of love.  The length is perfect for capturing the chaos that is this family.

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

What happens when you cross The Princess Bride with Where The Wild Things Are?

In a word, Wildwood by Colin Meloy with illustrations by Carson Ellis.  If you are a book person (by that I mean wanting the physical object) not a Kindle user, you will love this book.  It's beautiful.  Everything about it from the heft of the book itself to the way the pages feel under your fingers are delightful tactile experiences.  And then there are the illustrations and color plates.  I mean, when have we had a book published recently that feels so good?  It's a joy to sit down to read this book.

And then there's the story.  A murder of crows kidnaps Prue McKeel's baby brother from the park while he is under Prue's care.  Wild adventures ensue as Prue and her friend Curtis go into the Impassible Wilderness outside of their Porland, OR neighborhood to rescue the child. Meloy creates a wonderful alternate world where animals and humans talk to and negotiate with one another.  While reading this treasure I couldn't help but think what a great read aloud bedtime story this would be for the brave at heart.  

The subtitle of the book is The Wildwood Chronicles, Book I.  I will be anxiously awaiting Book II.