by Chris Cotter
Tundra (Penguin Random House)
Buy from Indigo
Suggested Ages: 9-12 (and old moms too)
Description: In 1960s Toronto, two girls retreat to their attics to escape the loneliness and isolation of their lives. Polly lives in a house bursting at the seams with people, while Rose is often left alone by her busy parents. Polly is a down-to-earth dreamer with a wild imagination and an obsession with ghosts; Rose is a quiet, ethereal waif with a sharp tongue. Despite their differences, both girls spend their days feeling invisible and seek solace in books and the cozy confines of their respective attics. But soon they discover they aren't alone--they're actually neighbors, sharing a wall. They develop an unlikely friendship, and Polly is ecstatic to learn that Rose can actually see and talk to ghosts. Maybe she will finally see one too! But is there more to Rose than it seems? Why does no one ever talk to her? And why does she look so... ghostly? When the girls find a tombstone with Rose's name on it in the cemetery and encounter an angry spirit in her house who seems intent on hurting Polly, they have to unravel the mystery of Rose and her strange family... before it's too late.
The Good Stuff
- Intriguing opening chapter. Hooks you in and doesn't let you go
- Felt for Polly as my Dad was very much a do-gooder. I remember the conflicted feelings about wanting him to be there for me and feeling angry at him for spending so much time helping others while trying to understand his need to help others less fortunate than us. Miss you Dad
- The relationship between Rose and Polly was so real and honest
- Love the description of the library and the more realistic Librarian character
- Love the inclusion of some Toronto landscapes, made me think of home which also gave it a special meaning to me (for those who don't know I am an Ontario girl living in Alberta)
- The discussion between Rose and her Dad was so magically written
- Made me bawl my eyes out and the last page was just so beautiful
- Beautifully written will appeal to the mature 9-12 reader as well as with adults
- Moody and Haunting with a fabulous twist that the younger ones probably won't see coming. Even kept this 44 year old mom guessing.
- Highly recommend, this one will be getting my Staff Pick approval and have passed it on to my co-worker Jen, who I think will enjoy as well
- Beautiful expression of friendship
The Not So Good Stuff
- Point of view jumps very quickly
- Moody realistic setting may be too much for the younger less mature reader. But I could totally be wrong - each child is so unique
"My Parents want to save the world, and they're doing it one unwanted kid at a time."
"That's what mother's do, don't they? Love their kids no matter what."
"But that's why I liked her. She didn't know what might be lurking in the dark but she jumped in anyway, and she actually believed she could make a difference."
"I wanted you to grow up in a happy house. But now it looks like I've made the same sort of family I came from, with things not talked about, and everyone keeping to themselves."
"You keep running away from all the poor ghosts who need your help. It would be easy for you to help them, and you just turn your back."
I received this from Random House in exchange for an honest review