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Along the Arctic Circle lies a small island called Neversink, whose jagged cliffs and ice-gouged rocks are home to a colony of odd-looking seabirds called auks, including one Lockley J. Puffin. With their oceanfront views and plentiful supply of fish, the auks have few concerns?few, save for Lockley's two best friends, Egbert and Ruby, a know-it-all walrus and a sharp-tongued hummingbird.
But all of this is about to change. Rozbell, the newly crowned king of the Owl Parliament, ...
Along the Arctic Circle lies a small island called Neversink, whose jagged cliffs and ice-gouged rocks are home to a colony of odd-looking seabirds called auks, including one Lockley J. Puffin. With their oceanfront views and plentiful supply of fish, the auks have few concerns—few, save for Lockley's two best friends, Egbert and Ruby, a know-it-all walrus and a sharp-tongued hummingbird.
But all of this is about to change. Rozbell, the newly crowned king of the Owl Parliament, is dealing with a famine on the mainland of Tytonia—and he has long had his scheming eyes on the small colony to the north. Now Neversink's independence hangs in the balance. An insurgence of owls will inevitably destroy life as the auks know it—unless Lockley can do something about it.
Barry Wolverton's debut is an epic tale of some very un-epic birds, a fast-paced and funny story of survival, friendship, and fish.
Posted April 5, 2012
Funny, well told story with unforgettable characters. Wolverton is a great writer. I hope to see more books from him in the future!
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Posted February 21, 2014
This book is precisely the reason I love middle grade literature. It's like reading Animal Farm for kids. It is like everything and nothing I've read before. I loved it. Barry Wolverton built a beautiful, complex society of animals with history and heart.
On the surface it seems like a simple story about a sadistic owl and the brave puffin that defies him, but there is so much more to it. It is a story of hardship, oppression, freedom, and courage. It is about standing up for what you know is right and sacrificing yourself for the good of society. It is about leadership and friendship, fear and loyalty. It makes the reader look inward and ask how much they would be willing to sacrifice to preserve their freedom and independence. Would you be willing to die for the right to live without oppression, or would you stand passively aside while your freedoms are stripped away?
The imagery is stunning. The author did a fantastic job at world building. I fell in love with the island of Neversink and the animals that call it home. Highly recommended for kids ages 8 and up.
Content: Light danger/suspense. Some animals die, but there are no gory details. I consider it clean.
Posted December 13, 2013
Posted March 30, 2012
Book Review (ARC)
A really cute story that will entertain both young and old. Children will really enjoy the auks that are featured in the story, but the auks aren’t the only ones. All of the other little creatures are just as charming, good or bad, and no one can hold a candle to the duo of the walrus and the hummingbird. Two creatures that couldn’t be more different, but are two of the best friends an auk can have. Adults will be able to latch on to the story these animals are facing and the politics that come with it. The politics is the main part of the story, which I think will be over the heads of most children this book is aimed towards. I can see some of those moments as being hard to explain to kids, but some parents may love it for the opportunity for discussion with their children. Everyone will be able to appreciate the themes of friendship and family and the main character’s desire to always do the right thing. Lockley is an auk to be admired and he continually pulls through from his family and his colony. Luckily even when things are looking bleak for him – he has those wonderful friends to help him through it. My favorite part of the book was hearing how their world came to be, how they think that they ended up where they are, their mythology and their history. That makes for a wonderful story all it’s own.
Reviewed by Jessica for Book Sake.
Posted March 30, 2012
Neversink is an enchanting tale of a greedy owl trying to impose his will on an unusually complacent colony of birds-Puffins. Lockley and Lucy Puffin are most affected by his demands because Lucy is pregnant and the only one that can cook the fish smidgens he is demanding from the Puffins as a tax on their daily catch of fish. Lockley feels guilty because the owls never would have come to Neversink if he hadn't let Egbert the Walrus live on Neversink. Egbert invited the owls that live on the neighboring island of Tytonia to come to his party and taste Lucy's fish smidgens, but his real intent was to share knowledge. He had created a book and he wanted to share that knowledge with everyone. But what starts out so innocently leaves Lockley and the Great Auk fighting for their lives!
Talking animals, mythology and adventure are sure to make this story one both kids and adults will love. Not too long, but with something everyone can take away from the book. The black and white illustrations are very expressive. Don't be surprised if a tear or two forms in your eyes.
Posted April 2, 2012
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