The Peculiar Night of the Blue Heart

Lauren DeStefano. Bloomsbury, $16.99 (208p) ISBN 978-1-61963-643-9
In a moving story about the lengths children will go to help a friend, Lionel and Marybeth live in an orphanage run by Mrs. Mannerd, a kindly widow who never had children of her own. Lionel, who thinks of himself as a “wild boy,” would prefer to be an animal (any animal) and spends most of his time coaxing woodland creatures to feed from his hand. Marybeth, quiet and obedient, trails behind him, hoping to better understand why Lionel prefers the company of animals. When a strange blue creature, which Lionel believes to be a fox, inhabits Marybeth’s body, it’s up to the wild boy to tame his inner impulses and figure out the very human reason the blue creature refuses to let go of his best friend. DeStefano (A Curious Tale of the In-Between) again explores the spirit world in an engaging and sometimes frightening way. As the mystery unravels, she incorporates difficult subjects that include murder, abuse, and grief, handling them in a straightforward manner that readers will appreciate. Ages 8–12. Agent: Barbara Poelle, Irene Goodman Agency. (Sept.)
Reviewed on: 07/18/2016
Release date: 09/13/2016
Genre: Children's
Ebook - 978-1-61963-644-6
Paperback - 224 pages - 978-1-61963-645-3
MP3 CD - 978-1-5366-6882-7
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