Thursday, January 1, 2015

Nuts to You by Lynne Rae Perkins, 2014

Hello, readers! I wish you all the very best New Year's Day possible. Here's to a great 2015! I have big dreams for this little blog, and I hope 2015 will be the year to see them fulfilled. Here's tomorrow's review early, as a New Year's treat.

Synopsis (from Goodreads):
Jed, TsTs, and Chai are the very best of friends. So when Jed is snatched up by a hawk and carried away to another realm, TsTs and Chai resolve to go after him. Mysteriously, the hawk has dropped him. They saw it. Jed could be alive. New communities are discovered, new friends made, huge danger is encountered (both man-made and of the fox and bobcat variety) and the mysteries of squirrel culture are revealed. It turns out that squirrels are steadfast and fun-loving. It turns out they adore peanut butter. It turns out they love games and really good stories. And nuts.
Newbery Medalist Lynne Rae Perkins loves peanut butter, too. And one day, while she was sitting on a bench enjoying the sunshine and a peanut butter sandwich, a squirrel asked for a smidgen of peanut butter in exchange for a story. Was it Jed? Well, readers will have to figure that out. Nuts to You is wholly original, funny, lively, and thought-provoking. It is a deeply satisfying piece of storytelling about the power of stories to save the world; about the power of friendship and the importance of community. Illustrated in black-and-white on every page by the author. Includes an introduction, epilogue, and footnotes throughout.

(272 pages)

After reading it:
I originally learned about this book at Semicolon. The upshot of the review there was that it was a lot better than  it looked. When I checked it out of the library my mother read it before I did and told me that it was better than she had expected. It was Thanksgiving weekend and I had barrelled through my other books, with only this one left to go. It actually took me a day or two to bring myself to read it, despite the fact that I'd been told multiple times that was better than it looked. After reading it, what is my verdict? It's better than it looks.

Yes, it really is. It looks hokey, like kids book working to get a message across. But upon actually reading it I found that it's really a sweet story of friendship with just enough peril keep things interesting, while at the same time keeping things from being too dark. I would recommend this highly most middle schoolers and frankly also many elementary schoolers. It's no Harry Potter, but even older readers like me can spend a couple hours reading this fun book.

It took me forever to read this, and now it's taking me forever to review it. I don't know what it is with this book, but as soon as I set it down I put it so completely out of my mind I go long stretches of time without picking it up again. It's a good story for younger readers, with black-and-white illustrations and humorous footnotes throughout, but I find it extremely unmemorable. Perhaps the target audience would retain it more than I seem to be able to. There's nothing objectionable in it, and it's actually pretty sweet.

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