YA Greatness: Peter Nimble and His Fantastic Eyes, Sara McClung & Write On Con @ 09:54 pm
Peter Nimble and His Fantastic Eyes
"The start of any journey- wheter pilgrimage or promenade- is one of life's true joys."
First of all, Jonathan Auxier seems like he would be a nice guy. I've been following him on Twitter for some time and love his quippy sense of humor and references to Pop Culture, he has even touched on the obscure Japanese video-game Katamari! I wasn't able to attend the huge ALA conference in New Orleans earlier this year and was jealous as I would see postings about all of the ARC's (Advanced Readers Copies) that were being given out. I wrote to Jonathan telling him of my woes and he sent me a copy of his book!
I was drawn into the novel before I even opened it by the cover illustration and design. Much of the mystery, adventure and theme of the story is represented in the cover illustration from a barefoot blindfolded boy with a sack slung over his shoulder to the string of ravens cawing over mountains and a deserted landscape. There are also many text and chapter illustrations throughout the book which were all drawn by the author. Mr. Auxier also writes a regular blog/website at: www.thescop.com/
The official book summary reads: Raised to be a thief, blind orpahan Peter Nimble, Age ten, steals from a mysterious stranger three pairs of magical eyes, that lead him to a hidden island where he must decide to become a hero or resume his life of crime.
The writing style harkens back to Norman Juster's The Phantom Tollbooth with well thought out descriptions and carefully chosen language. "To his right was the Haberdasher, who smelled of wet wool mixed with a tinge of regret." By choosing underused, colorful words, Auxier transports us to an otherworldly time and encourages us to dive into the fantasy of the story. Once landing in the story his maintenance of pace and language throughout makes us want to float there for a long long time.
With a host of characters including zebras, talking ravens and sparrows and Peter's main companion, named Sir Tode (a knight who is under a hex which has turned him into a part man with a catlike body and face and twitchy horse ears, tail and hooves) Peter seeks to answer the riddle of a mysterious poem which was found in a bottle. He is encouraged by his friends Mr. Pound and Mr. Cake to solve the riddle; "All I know is that the author of this message needs someone to seek them out and save them. I think that person is you." Thus begins an epic journey that is both original and homespun, dipped in aged language and yet ageless. A truly charming book that isn't afraid to scratch at the dark side while ultimately telling an uplifting modern folk tale that I predict to be a favorite of children, educators and parents. This is a new release, look for it now at your local bookstore!
Babbling Flow the blog
by Sara McClung
While searching for a photo of Jonathan Auxier that features his favorite pose, the open mouth and point, made famous by television personality Stephen Colbert (often affectionately reffered to as the Colbert point); I not only found a great photo of him, but I also learned about who he was photographed with, book blogger and author Sara McClung.
She describes herself like this:
"Hi, I’m Sara. I write YA fiction. Probably because I still act like a teenager sometimes. Okay, all the time. I try to behave as an adult on my blog, though. And I almost always succeed. Kind of."
I've enjoyed scooting around her website. She has sections with Resources for Writers, Book Recommendations and holds regular drawings in which she gives away ARC's (Advanced Reader Copies). Full of photos and links, her blog is very user-friendly.
Sara will be a participant in the event Writeon.com, a free web conference where those that strive to become Young Adult authors can talk to current authors and each other through a live chat. More information is available at: http://writeoncon.com/