THE FLOWN SKY by Matthew Olshan


Age Range: 11 - 13
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Clever in parts but never quite adding up to a coherent whole, this satirical fantasy pits kind-hearted, monkey-like beachcomber Eena Beena and her haughty royal double Queena Beena against Prospero, a gorilla with a mad compulsion to break through the magical barrier that separates his world from ours. Ranged against him are not only the two Beenas, but also numerous allies—notably jocular sage Professor Tertius Legume (another ape); a colony of hardworking, fun-loving earwigs; and Tog, a wood- and paper-devouring silverfish with a secret identity. Despite repeated face-offs with Prospero during a dangerous journey that takes the Beenas from their native Allele Island to the Circle of Fates in the remote north, readers will be far more diverted by the quirky cast. Occasional challenges include, for Eena Beena, a bout of Scramble Pox that transforms her every utterance into an anagram (the title is an anagram too, for “Know Thyself”), and for Queena Beena, being changed into a flea by an application of Flea Powder. In the end, Prospero suffers a dismal fate, whereupon everyone goes home. Olshan’s Huck Finn pastiche, Finn: A Novel (2001), made a big splash, but this outing just coasts on the ripples. (Fantasy. 11-13)

Pub Date: March 1st, 2007
ISBN: 0-9789391-0-7
Page count: 340pp
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: Jan. 15th, 2007


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