Not As We Know It

Tom Avery. Random/Schwartz & Wade, $16.99 (176p) ISBN 978-0-553-53509-9
This poignant tale of a boy whose twin brother is facing his own mortality is both heartrending and uplifting. Eleven-year-olds Jamie and Ned find a strange creature—part human, part fish—washed up on the beach of their small British island after a storm. Adventurous Ned, who has cystic fibrosis, is positive that it will bring good luck and insists that they keep it in their already-packed garage full of treasures. Cautious Jamie, however, worries that this creature, whom Ned names Leonard, might foretell something more ominous. As Ned’s condition worsens and he is increasingly drawn to Leonard, Jamie’s misgivings only increase. Avery (My Brother’s Shadow) captures the boundless imagination of childhood and the reckless abandon with which these boys approach caring for a mysterious sea creature, and he doesn’t shy away from the brutality of real life. Through Jamie’s thoughtful narration, readers are treated to a hauntingly beautiful story about brotherly bonds, wrenching grief, and the untethered hope that everything will somehow work out. Ages 9–12. (Aug.)
Reviewed on: 05/30/2016
Release date: 08/23/2016
Genre: Children's
Library Binding - 176 pages - 978-0-553-53510-5
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