Leaving the Bellweathers

Kristin Clark Venuti. Egmont USA, $15.99 (256p) ISBN 978-1-60684-006-1
This amusing if flawed debut vacillates between third-person narrative and the journal entries of Tristan Benway, whose great-great-great-grandfather "pledged the loyalty and service of his descendants for the next two hundred years" to the insufferable Bellweather family. As Benway endures the final days of his contractual servitude, he comforts himself with his plans for liberation, which include moving to a place "Far, Far Away," and publishing a tell-all book about the family. In somewhat tedious and repetitive fashion, Benway recounts the difficulties of running the Bellweathers' household, especially the horror of keeping tabs on the five Bellweather children: Spider ("a lover of endangered animals... but only the sort who have the ability to poison, maim, or kill people"), budding radical Ninda, and troublemaking triplets Spike, Brick, and Sassy. Venuti has created a unique setting (the Bellweathers live in a lighthouse in the village of Eel-Smack-by-the Bay); some may find it difficult to relate to an unsympathetic, albeit well-drawn, cast of characters, but those who like humor with a slightly misanthropic bent should be entertained. Ages 8—12. (Sept.)
Reviewed on: 11/30/2009
Release date: 09/01/2009
Genre: Children's
Downloadable Audio - 978-1-4418-0180-7
Library Binding - 242 pages - 978-1-60684-050-4
MP3 CD - 978-1-4418-0179-1
Compact Disc - 978-1-4418-0177-7
Compact Disc - 978-1-4418-0176-0
MP3 CD - 978-1-4418-0178-4
Downloadable Audio - 978-1-4418-0181-4
Pre-Recorded Audio Player - 978-1-4418-0917-9
Paperback - 250 pages - 978-1-60684-137-2
Pre-Recorded Audio Player - 978-1-4418-1022-9
MP3 CD - 978-1-5012-8432-8
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