Wednesday, January 27, 2010
A stray cat. An orphaned pre-teen girl. A heart surgeon turned metal sculptor. A young boy rejected by his domineering father. A wild homeless boy and his albino deer. Mix these all together and what do you have? If you're author/illustrator Clay Carmichael, then you have the beautiful 2010 ALA Notable book, Wild Things. Some books are meant to be savored, read slowly and enjoyed page by page. This is one of them.
The story is about kindred spirits who are in some way, in need of home and family. The cat, Mr. C'mere, senses that Zoё, unlike other humans, can be trusted. In turn, Zoё, who has been burned one too many times in her not quite-twelve-year-old life, learns to trust her Uncle Henry (the former heart surgeon). Henry Royster opens his home to a niece he has never met before, thus softening his own grief-torn heart. Zoё’s nemesis, Hargrove, turns out to be a very different person than she first imagines, about the same time that she discovers a half-brother (Wil) and someone special he has named “Sister.”
This isn’t a book with every loose end wrapped up neatly with a “they all lived happily together” ending. But it is a book about acceptance and healing and one that may leave you wondering: Who really are the wild things? And where is the safe place that they might call home?
Read the book and enjoy.
(Recommended for girls and boys, 9-12. Boyds Mills Press, 2009)
ALA Notable Book, Boyds Mill Press, kindred spirits, book for boys and girls, Clay Carmichael, Wild Things