Tanglewreck by Jeanette Winterson, a review

In the book Tanglewreck by Jeanette Winterson (2006), Silver is a plucky 11-year-old whose parents and sister vanished four years ago. She’s being cared for by a selfish mean woman in the family mansion, Tanglewreck, one of those old English manor houses with a lot of mysteries to it.

Strange disturbances start happening. A wooly mammoth shows up on the banks of the Thames. A school bus full of children vanishes. Time seems to be going backwards and forwards. People are afraid. Something is clearly not right.

When a mysterious alchemist invites Silver and her guardian to his house in London, she finds that he believes she is the person spoken of in a prophecy about a missing clock with power over time itself. He wants her to find the clock–and then hand it over to him. A lot of unexpected plot twists later, I can definitely say the author clearly is having a lot of fun with multiverse theory and quantum physics paradoxes, including Schroedinger’s Cat.

I enjoyed many things about this story, especially the occasionally amusing bad guys and the heroine’s character journey.

However, I don’t recommend that a religious parent let their child read it without also having the parent read it and discuss it. The author imbues objects, like a house and a clock, with powers that sound to me like they belong to divinity. I do wonder where the author thinks the prophecy about the heroine comes from. I guess it’s a random prophecy.

I’ll give it four stars. * * * *

Diary of Wimpy Kid #1 by Jeff Kinney, a review

Diary of a Wimpy Kid by Jeff Kinney (2007) is a hot book where middle-schoolers are concerned. It's a #1 New York Times bestseller, and its many sequels are too. Many parents, though, aren't so thrilled about this tale of a manipulative cheat. So … [Continue reading]

One Realm Beyond by Donita K. Paul, a review

In One Realm Beyond (2014), a YA series opener from Donita K. Paul, Cantor D'Ahma has grown into a young man. He leaves his elderly mentors and sets off to learn how to become a Realm Walker, using the gifts he was born with. His mentors don't tell … [Continue reading]

Grace Hopper, Queen of Computer Code by Laurie Wallmark, a review

How to engage kids in STEM subjects? One way is to have them read intriguing picture-book-biographies of STEM scientists of note, especially ones that have an engaging story or two in their past. Grace Hopper is one of these people. Laurie … [Continue reading]

The Book of the King by Jerry B. Jenkins and Chris Fabry, a review

The Book of the King (2007), by Jerry B. Jenkins and Chris Fabry, tells a tale full of the supernatural. Its young protagonist, Owen, is one courageous guy. Owen evades violent bullies and comes home to the bookstore where he lives with his … [Continue reading]

Rise of the Dragons by Angie Sage, a review

Rise of the Dragons by Angie Sage (2019), a middle-grade series opener, involves two worlds. In one, young Sirin Sharma is in the slow process of losing her only parent to illness (and her cat to hard-hearted caregivers). It seems to be the same … [Continue reading]

So, what’s happening with your book, Phyllis?

Getting published take time when you're not indie publishing. Which I am not. So, I have five book manuscripts in various states of finish. I'm hopeful for all of them, of course! And so glad to have an agent, Bob Shuman! I went to two writers' … [Continue reading]

The Edge of Extinction: The Ark Plan by Laura Martin, a review

The Edge of Extinction by Laura Martin, a series of two books published in 2016 and 2017, provides a dystopian Jurassic Park tale for middle-graders. Plucky Sky Mundy, in an underground colony in what once was northern Indiana, is just one of a few … [Continue reading]

We’re Not From Here by Geoff Rodkey, a review

One thousand refugees from Earth, likely the only survivors, are in a spaceship orbiting a populated planet, hoping for permission to land. If they can’t live on Choom, they’ll perish --their food and fuel are nearly gone. They came because they were … [Continue reading]

Three Times Lucky by Sheila Turnage, a review

Three Times Lucky, by Sheila Turnage (2012), tells a middle-grade whodunit with the unforgettable Southern voice of a rising sixth-grader, Mo. Mo lives with the eccentric proprietors of the town diner, Lana and the Colonel. No matter that the … [Continue reading]