THE PIG WHO SAVED THE WORLD

BY GRYLLUS THE PIG

Gryllus, former human/current pig, returns with young prophetess Sybil and teen epic poet Homer for another romp through the pantheon of ancient Greece. This time, while searching for Circe in hopes of returning Gryllus to his true form, they discover evil King Sisyphus has escaped the underworld and imprisoned the gods. According to Sybil’s prophecy, “Nobody can defeat the beast in the dark.” At that, Gryllus is ready to pack it in. However, after another run in with Polyphemus and discovering the still-living head of Orpheus, there are multiple candidates for “nobody.” None of them is less willing than Gryllus. Fans of The Pig Scrolls (2005) will be in hog heaven. Gryllus’s lazy, dim and yet somehow still sarcastic narration is better than ever. Teens in Junior Classical League will be slapping their knees. Complete with footnotes, glossary for barbarians and a priceless further reading list, this one’s not to be missed. (Fiction. 10-14)

Pub Date: Sept. 1, 2007

ISBN: 978-0-7636-3446-9

Page Count: 272

Publisher: Candlewick

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: July 15, 2007

Did you like this book?

No Comments Yet

THE BOY IN THE STRIPED PAJAMAS

After Hitler appoints Bruno’s father commandant of Auschwitz, Bruno (nine) is unhappy with his new surroundings compared to the luxury of his home in Berlin. The literal-minded Bruno, with amazingly little political and social awareness, never gains comprehension of the prisoners (all in “striped pajamas”) or the malignant nature of the death camp. He overcomes loneliness and isolation only when he discovers another boy, Shmuel, on the other side of the camp’s fence. For months, the two meet, becoming secret best friends even though they can never play together. Although Bruno’s family corrects him, he childishly calls the camp “Out-With” and the Fuhrer “Fury.” As a literary device, it could be said to be credibly rooted in Bruno’s consistent, guileless characterization, though it’s difficult to believe in reality. The tragic story’s point of view is unique: the corrosive effect of brutality on Nazi family life as seen through the eyes of a naïf. Some will believe that the fable form, in which the illogical may serve the objective of moral instruction, succeeds in Boyle’s narrative; others will believe it was the wrong choice. Certain to provoke controversy and difficult to see as a book for children, who could easily miss the painful point. (Fiction. 12-14)

Pub Date: Sept. 12, 2006

ISBN: 0-385-75106-0

Page Count: 224

Publisher: David Fickling/Random

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Aug. 15, 2006

Did you like this book?

No Comments Yet

THE RIVER

A sequel to the most popular of Paulsen's three Newbery Honor books (Hatchet, 1987), based on an unlikely premise— government researchers want Brian to reenact his northwoods survival so that his strategies can be observed and taught to others. Derek, a young psychologist, and Brian are dropped off at another Canadian lake, near the first one, equipped only with knives and a radio that Derek has promised not to use except in a dire emergency. Everything goes all too smoothly until their camp is struck by lightning, zapping the radio and leaving Derek in a coma. Brian manages to float Derek 100 miles down a river to a trading post, thus saving his life. The lyrically described details of Brian's adventure— building a fire, making a raft—are of most interest here; for all its graphically evoked perils (rapids, the craft's unwieldiness, exhaustion), the journey's successful outcome seems less in doubt than did the outcome of the compelling autobiographical wilderness experiences described in Woodsong (1990). In Hatchet, Brian discovered his own strength, adding depth, complexity, and tension to the story; here, that strength is a given—as he himself points out. Perfunctory in design but vividly written, a book that will, as intended, please the readers who hoped that Paulsen, like Brian, would "do it again." (Fiction. 11-14)

Pub Date: June 1, 1991

ISBN: 0-385-30388-2

Page Count: 133

Publisher: Delacorte

Review Posted Online: June 24, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: June 15, 1991

Did you like this book?

No Comments Yet
more