Tuesday, October 30, 2007

Book of Lost Things

The Book of Lost Things
by John Connolly

2007-2008 Tayshas Reading List

As David tries to cope with the death of his mother, books begin to speak aloud to him. Other odd things happen too...he keeps blacking out and seeing strange people in a strange land. Through the window, David sees a man in his bedroom, but when he and his father go into the room, they find only a bird. Then late one night, when David hears his mother calling to him from the garden, he follows the sound of her voice through a hole in a wall and finds himself in a new world with no way home.

Set in the early years of World War II, the Book of Lost Things tells a compelling story of a young man, who is angry at the death of his mother, angry at his father for remarrying, and angry at his stepmother and half brother for offering a new life that David wants no part in. His selfishness and courage are put to the test though when he finds himself in a strange world where wolves walk, the Seven Dwarfs are communists repressed by Snow White, and where other myths and fairy tales have been confused and distorted.

Despite re-using many traditional magical creatures, Connolly's use of them is fresh and interesting. The supporting characters are engaging, such as the Woodsman who first helps David. David makes a wonderful hero fighting not only dragons and bad guys, but his own fears and weaknesses. His character develops substantially throughout the story, so that the final resolution feels true and important.

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