Monday, March 15, 2010

raven summer by David Almond

Almond writes sort of magical coming of age stories. Liam and his friend Max are middle school age and playing their imaginary games rather than joining the neighborhood kids in organized sports. While they are playing, first a hiker in a red cap, then a raven pass by. The raven seems to be commanding the boys to follow it. The boys do follow and discover a baby left behind in an old ruin. The baby is placed in a foster home with a group of older kids. Liam and Max get lots of publicity for their heroic rescue. Liam's mom and Liam see the baby as a sign. Liam's friend Max has discovered girls and lost interest in the baby and raven. Liam and his mom visit the baby and Liam becomes friends with two of the foster kids. It's hard to tell when, who is telling the truth though. One of the foster parents becomes ill and the baby becomes foster child in Liam's home. His two friends run away from their new home but remain in touch with Liam. Eventually they are found, Liam learns the horrible truth about one of the kids and war. There is a second plot line about a former friend who has grown scary, taunts Liam and has done a very controversial violent art show. Liam contemplates the meaning of all that takes place during this one short period of his life as he is growing up. Teens who don't need a lot of action and who are deep thinkers are likely to be attracted to Almond's quirky story.

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