Wednesday, December 26, 2012


Written by: Anne Ursu

First line: It snowed right before Jack stopped talking to Hazel, fluffy white flakes big enough to show their crystal architecture, like perfect geometric patterns.

Why you should read this book: It's a true modern fairy tale, drawing equally from Narnia and Hans Christian Andersen, referencing the Brothers Grimm and JK Rowling, bringing together many familiar themes and tropes, and turning them upside down. Hazel, adopted from India by white parents and still reeling from her father's abandonment of the family, can't seem to fit in, except through the graces of her best friend and next door neighbor Jack, a boy whose imagination matches hers and helps her embrace the magic in the world. After a bad encounter with a little speck of bad magic, Jack disappears in a most unusual fashion, and unless Hazel can go into the woods, solve its mysteries, and bring him back, he'll be lost forever.

Why you shouldn't read this book: Your first instinct upon seeing a wolf would be to shoot it, and you'd rather forget your problems than confront them.

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