Sunday, January 15, 2012
by Anne Ursu
illustrated by Erin McGuire
New York, N.Y. : Walden Pond Press, c2011.
Hazel and Jack are best friends, and have wild imaginations. Hazel can't imagine life without Jack - he gives her a place in the world. Other people - such as her mother and her teachers at the new school - are telling Hazel she needs to be more grounded, but what if stories are more powerful and run deeper than most people realize?
Though meant for a younger audience, some aspects of this reminded me of The Book of Lost Things by John Connolly in that stories come true in a dark sort of way. Ursu drops in "breadcrumbs" of references that I had a fun time looking for to fairy tales and fantasy stories, both new and old. Though the narrative strays at times into too self-conscious cleverness, this was an enjoyable story that will validate those who enjoy fantasy and fairy tales, not as escapism, but as something somehow true.