cover image Shadows


Dennis Haseley. Farrar Straus Giroux, $12.95 (72pp) ISBN 978-0-374-36761-9

While Jamie's mother is looking for a new job, she sends him to stay with his aunt in West Virginia. Aunt Elena is overly protective, and without the company of his mother and friends the boy feels stifled and lonely. But one day his grandpa appears and, much to his aunt's dismay, shows Jamie how to escape into a world of fantasy using only his hands and a light to cast shadows. This gentle story touches lightly on several themes: overcoming fears, interfamily relationships, employing fantasy to combat real-life woes. Minimally drawn characters work well to illuminate the fleeting quality of the novel's most intriguing element--the wisdom Grandpa imparts to Jamie through the tales he tells with his hands. Ages 7-11. (May)