THE UNFORGOTTEN COAT by Frank Cottrell Boyce
Kirkus Star

THE UNFORGOTTEN COAT

Age Range: 8 - 12

KIRKUS REVIEW

Treading water in her last term of elementary school, Julie figures she’s learned all there is to learn, when two Mongolian brothers in fur-lined coats (it’s summer) arrive: Chingis and Nergui.

Chingis explains to their teacher that little Nergui’s hat must stay on, like a hunting eagle’s hood. Such casual references to wonders far from their Liverpool suburb, documented in the text with eerie Polaroid snapshots, enthrall the children, especially Julie. She’s elated when Chingis appoints her the brothers’ “good guide.” Despite her title, Julie can’t discover where they live; street-smart Chingis foils her attempts to follow them, taking a different route each day. Thwarted curiosity prompts her to research Mongolia online, succumbing to the mystery and fascination of far-off places and people. As her persistence pays off, she awakens to the fear the brothers carry. Funny, sad, haunting and original, Cottrell Boyce’s story leaves important elements unexpressed. As with lace, these holes are part of the design, echoed in the unadorned photos: a path through a dark forest; wagon tracks across a field that meet the lowering sky; shadows on a yurt wall. To complete the narrative, readers must actively participate. They’ll find myriad paths to follow—immigration, demons, social networking, the mystery of cultural difference and the nature of enchantment.

A tricky, magical delight. (author’s note) (Fiction. 8-12)
Pub Date: Sept. 1st, 2011
ISBN: 978-0-7636-5729-1
Page count: 112pp
Publisher: Candlewick
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: Aug. 1st, 2011




2011 BEST BOOKS FOR CHILDREN: THE COMPLETE LIST:

ChildrenCORAL REEFS by Jason Chin
by Jason Chin
Children<i>TITANIC</i> SINKS! by Barry Denenberg
by Barry Denenberg
ChildrenUNDERGROUND by Shane W.  Evans
by Shane W. Evans
ChildrenWHERE'S WALRUS? by Stephen  Savage
by Stephen Savage

MORE BY FRANK COTTRELL BOYCE

ChildrenCHITTY CHITTY BANG BANG AND THE RACE AGAINST TIME by Frank Cottrell Boyce
by Frank Cottrell Boyce
ChildrenCHITTY CHITTY BANG BANG FLIES AGAIN by Frank Cottrell Boyce
by Frank Cottrell Boyce
ChildrenMILLIONS by Frank Cottrell Boyce
by Frank Cottrell Boyce

SIMILAR BOOKS SUGGESTED BY OUR CRITICS:

ChildrenTHE GREAT RABBIT RESCUE by Katie Davies
by Katie Davies
ChildrenLAYLA, QUEEN OF HEARTS by Glenda Millard
by Glenda Millard