Monday, January 31, 2011

Some fantasy and a realistic novel

Yes, I finished A tale dark and Grimm by Adam Gidwitz within a day of opening it. It's the kind of book that is hard not to just inhale. I will have to let it go, send it on to the library stacks where it will be passed from hand to had, I am sure. This is a joyously gruesome riff on the fairy tale form where periodically the narrator turns to you and reminds you to send the little ones out of the room or to "close your eyes." All kinds of horrible things do happen but (spoiler alert) there is a fairy tale ending.

Another fantasy - but from a completely different family of stories - is The Boy who howled by Timothy Power. The absent-minded and rather callous parents in this peculiar book reminded me a bit of The Series of Unfortunate Events and a bit of The Willoughbys by Lois Lowry (another very peculiar book). However the parents have very little to do with the plot which revolves around Callum, a boy raised by wolves as he re-enters human society and eventually connects with his sister, a private school and his family. I can imagine this book prompting some conversation about behavior in our schools and our society. Thought provoking, but also very, very funny.

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