Sunday, January 1, 2012

The Books of Elsewhere: The Shadows by Jacqueline West

I haven't been going through books very fast this month. I did finish one this week. It is a fun little fantasy about a little girl who moves into a new house and discovers that the paintings in the house are magic. It reminded me a little of the book 100 Cupboards, by N.D. Wilson, and I am not sure which one I liked better. They both have a similar premise: a child finds passages to different worlds in their home, goes through them, and inadvertently causes all kinds of bad things to happen. Like the 100 Cupboards book, this is the first in a series, but is able to stand alone if you don't want to read the rest. One funny thing about this book was that the main character's parents are both mathematicians. They say all kinds of silly mathematical things to each other. It is funny because I am married to a mathematician, and these characters are nothing like any mathematician I have ever met. It is interesting to see the popular conception of what mathematicians are like. There is an under-riding message in this book about the importance of having faith in yourself and believing you can make a difference. It is also a good book for a young reader (grades 3-6) who might want a book that is a little spooky, but not too spooky. (certainly not as creepy as Coraline by Neil Gaiman). (241 p)

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