Sunday, February 13, 2011

Revolver, by Marcus Sedgwick

I'm on a hot streak of good books right now.  Revolver was a Printz Honor Book, and I can see why.  Actually, I think it's a better book than Ship Breaker, though I liked that one too.

It's 1910, and teenaged Sig is alone in a small cabin in the frozen far north.  Well, not quite alone--his father's frozen body is slumped in a corner.  His sister and stepmother have gone to get help.  There is an ominous knock on the door.

I don't want to tell you much more about the plot because it'll give too much away.  It zigzags back and forth in time between Sig's drama in the cabin and his father's past.

Pros:  I'm all pro on this one, baby.  It's super suspenseful, an easy read (but with lovely, spare language), and nice and short--200 pages.  It grapples with God and the nature of faith, the question of when violence is justified, and has a lot of the elements that fans of survival stories look for. 

Cons: Just one:  the cover.  I've never read Sedgwick before, mostly I think because his covers are always boring.  This one is no exception. 

Recommended for: Just about everyone.  Maybe even my dad.  Horn Book says, "will appeal to fans of Gary Paulsen, Jack London, and even Cormac McCarthy," and that seems right to me.  There are a couple of violent scenes that some might say are too much for middle school students, but they are certainly more tame than your average episode of Crime Scene: The Scene of the Crime.  I'm going to try to make all the boys in my teen advisory group read it.

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