“Most people don't realize how important librarians are. I ran across a book recently which suggested that the peace and prosperity of a culture was solely related to how many librarians it contained. Possibly a slight overstatement. But a culture that doesn't value its librarians doesn't value ideas and without ideas, well, where are we?”
Neil Gaiman

Friday, February 14, 2014

A Fabulous New Book From This Year's Printz Recipient - Due To Arrive at Libraries and Bookstores Near You in April

I am a huge Marcus Sedgwick fan.  I first encountered his work prior to him receiving a Printz Honor award in 2011 when his book Revolver was being talked about as a contender.  After meeting him at ALA Annual that year, he kindly granted me an interview for my blog and I read several more of his books, including this year's Printz winner, Midwinterblood.  I have yet to read anything by this creative author that I have not enjoyed.  His writing is consistently not contrived or formulaic.  He is a master storyteller who weaves together rich characters, settings, and dialogue.  He writes stories that are are lasting, the sort of stories that I anticipate becoming inducted into the canon of quality literature we use for instruction.  I expect we will continue to see a plethora of wonderful things from this talented author.

His latest novel, She Is Not Invisible, has reinforced all of my previous positive sentiments about Marcus Sedgwick.  It is yet another fascinating literary work that is like nothing else I have ever read. He delves into a thoughtful contemplation about the existence of coincidences through the intrepid adventure of teenage Laureth and her 7-year-old brother Benjamin.  Weaving historical facts about famous explorers of coincidence into a fictional mystery, this read is simultaneously thought-provoking and seat-of-your-pants entertaining.  Adding an additional layer to the story, it is told through the voice of Laureth, who has been blind since birth.  I found myself pausing multiple times as I read through passages that stuck out as quotable reflections on the world.  Perhaps my favorite is the following:

"You're black?" I said, stupidly.
"Yes," he said.  "Does that matter to you?"
"I couldn't care less if you were green with pink spots.  Why would it matter to me?  I don't even know what color is."
He thought about that.
"Listen, this gentleman surely won't wait forever," he said.  "But I wonder... Did you assume I
was white?"
"Michael, I didn't assume you were anything.  Try to understand, I don't see the world. I don't
see colors, so I don't think about it that way at all."

Laureth will be held dear in many a readers heart, but this beautiful passage in particular will seal her into mine forever.   Thank you Marcus for giving me get another favorite for my shelf.  I can't wait to have a hard copy with your autograph!

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