Monday, March 21, 2011

The Neddiad by Daniel Pinkwater

Daniel Pinkwater has written a lot of both novels and picture books, and they all have a quirky sense of humor. This book is no different. It starts out with a boy traveling across the country by train with his family in the 1940's. The family is moving to California, but on the way Ned accidentally gets left behind in Arizona. While there a Indian Shaman gives him a small stone turtle, and he meets up with a famous movie star, patterned after Errol Flynn, and his son. Then things start getting weird. He makes friends with a ghost at the hotel and the ghost accompanies him, and the Flinns to meet his parents in Los Angelos. In LA Ned begins to understand that his turtle is very ancient and very valuable. As the keeper of the turtle he is the chosen hero who must save the world. Of course he has no idea how to do that, but the Shaman, who followed him to LA tells him not to worry about the details. The thing about this book is that it is never serious. The reader never feels that Ned or his friends are in any real danger. Instead they are just a bunch of kids who are having the lark of their life. Cool things keep happening to them and they are loving it. This is a lighthearted and fun read with lots of interesting facts about turtle myths, and life in 1940's LA. (307 p)

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