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Benji and Red couldn't be more different. They aren't friends. They don't even live in the same town. But their fates are entwined. A chance meeting leads the boys to discover that they have more in common than meets the eye. Both of them have encountered a strange presence in the forest, watching them, tracking ...
Benji and Red couldn't be more different. They aren't friends. They don't even live in the same town. But their fates are entwined. A chance meeting leads the boys to discover that they have more in common than meets the eye. Both of them have encountered a strange presence in the forest, watching them, tracking them. Could the Madman of Piney Woods be real?
In a tale brimming with intrigue and adventure, Christopher Paul Curtis returns to the vibrant world he brought to life in Elijah of Buxton. Here is another novel that will break your heart -- and expand it, too.
Praise for ELIJAH OF BUXTON
* "Rich, masterful storytelling. . . . This is Curtis's best novel yet, and no doubt many readers, young and old, will finish and say, 'This is one of the best books I have ever read.'" --KIRKUS, starred review
* "A fine, original novel from a gifted storyteller. . . . Readers drawn to the book by humor will find themselves, at times, on the edge of their seats in suspense and, at others, moved to tears." --BOOKLIST, starred review
* "Curtis's talent for dealing with painful periods of history with grace and sensitivity is as strong as ever." --SCHOOL LIBRARY JOURNAL, starred review
* "Elijah . . . is an irresistible character. . . . This arresting, surprising novel of reluctant heroism is about nothing less than nobility." --HORN BOOK, starred review
*"It is, in short, quintessential Curtis, sure to please his legions of fans and to cultivate new ones." Booklist, starred review
*"Humor and tragedy are often intertwined, and readers will find themselves sobbing and chuckling, sometimes in the same scene. Though this story stands alone, it will be even more satisfying for those who have read Elijah of Buxton."- Kirkus, starred review
*"Woven throughout this profoundly moving yet also at times very funny novel are themes of family, friendship, community, compassion, and, fittingly, the power of words"- THE HORN BOOK MAGAZINE, starred review
Posted September 22, 2014
Two boys from different cultures learn that their lives can share the same feelings of joy, hardship, love, and loss. Benji and Red appear different on the surface. Benji is from a free Black family that still can recall the outrages of slavery. Red is from an Irish family that knew the suffering of the Great Potato Famine in Ireland. Both families moved to Canada to start new lives. Benji loves the forest and spends as much time as he can surrounded by nature. Red is out of place in the woods, more of a townie. Benji loves the power of words and wants to be a newspaper man. Red is a believer in facts and wants to be a scientist. Little do they know that their shared meeting with the Wild Man of Piney Woods will teach them, and perhaps us, the meaning of friendship and love. This is a deeply moving story. It's powerful words reach into your heart and soul. Love, hate, prejudice, and sorrow, each in their own way, sweep the reader through the pages of this excellent book. I think some of the material, most notably the descriptions of war and it's savagery, may be too harsh for some readers in the suggested age group, 8-12. The book overall can be an excellent learning tool for these and older readers. Book provided for review by Scholastic Inc.
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