Posts tagged ‘friends’
Having read Wake, the first in a trilogy by Lisa McMann, I was excited by the prospect of her next novel after the trilogy, a stand-alone entitled Cryer’s Cross. Kendall Fletcher is the only girl in senior year at her school in a tiny farming community in Montana. When her best friend, Nico, is the second of two students in the town to disappear into thin air, Kendall’s world falls apart. She loses her one confidante; the person she grew up with and shared her ambitions with, her Obsessive Compulsive Disorder becomes harder to manage and her school soccer team simply doesn’t have enough members to play so she loses her greatest outlet for stress relief. The disappearances are timed with the arrival of Jacian and his sister Marlena and rumours abound as to how much of a coincidence the two events are. The repellent and moody Jacian’s volatility puts Kendall on edge, but his grandfather, a close family friend of the Fletcher’s, slowly brings the reluctant two together.
McMann’s mix of teen drama and supernatural is a surprisingly effective mix – she walks the right side of the fine line between intrigue and the ridiculous and, while I had an ‘oh no’ moment of dread halfway through the book that the ending might be a let down, the tale held its own. While it may not be quite creepy enough for some readers, Cryer’s Cross, essentially a ghost story, is sustained by its great characters through to a satisfying conclusion.
The book raises some interesting themes (without a heavy hand) about the ups and downs of living in a small community, coping with a psychological disorder and overcoming loss. Kendall is a fabulous girl – a balance of flaws and admirable qualities. McMann’s ability to build a story around a strong female character continues to be her strongest asset.
I absolutely love Oliver Jeffers’ work and it is very exciting that there is another adventure featuring the Boy and the Penguin from LOST AND FOUND. This is a great story about friendship, helping friends follow their dreams and catching them when they fall (literally!). The Penguin does get a little bit lost again but friends are always there for each other when they are needed the most.
Sometimes a picture book comes along that is perfect. What makes it perfect? Illustrations so varied, a story divided into chapters just to give continuity and a sense of time going by. Just the right voice to read aloud to a young child. Maudie is playful and sometimes gets a little tired. Bear is the best bear ever.
What a team Kate DiCamillo and Tony Fucile and Alison McGhee. Brilliant for those first readers. Short stories, vibrant illustrations and fun. Bink and Gollie are the best of friends but only agree on wearing roller skates and nothing else! So, guess what? They have to compromise.