cover image Stonebird


Mike Revell. Quercus (Hachette, dist.), $16.99 (288p) ISBN 978-1-62365-462-7

Eleven-year-old Liam is disappointed when he, his sister, and his mother move in with his grandmother, who has rapidly advancing dementia, in order to help with her care. To Liam and his sister, Jess, it seems like she has a %E2%80%9Cdemon inside,%E2%80%9D and he%E2%80%99s terrified when she shouts that she%E2%80%99s %E2%80%9Ckilled before%E2%80%9D during one of her outbursts. But after Liam finds his grandmother%E2%80%99s WWII-era diary, he begins to learn that they are not so different. Liam%E2%80%99s fears involve his mother%E2%80%99s drinking (%E2%80%9CI realize that wine o%E2%80%99clock is not like bed time or lunch time or home time, because those times don%E2%80%99t change%E2%80%9D), as well as and his new school and its bullies. He gains an unexpected ally when his grandmother%E2%80%99s old protector, a stone gargoyle from Notre Dame cathedral, seems to come to life and is able to enact his wildest dreams, which doesn%E2%80%99t always go well. Liam%E2%80%99s sensitive, insightful voice is engaging and easy to identify with, and his evolving relationship with his family as his grandmother%E2%80%99s dementia worsens is tender and moving. Ages 10%E2%80%9312. Agent: Gemma Cooper, Bent Agency. (June)