THE BLUE BETWEEN THE CLOUDS by Stephen Wunderli

THE BLUE BETWEEN THE CLOUDS

Age Range: 10 & up
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KIRKUS REVIEW

 Pull out the best adjectives for a luminous comic novel- -Wunderli's first--about two boys coming of age in 1939 in Thistle, Utah. At his grandfather's wish, Two Moons--a Navajo--lives with Matt's family in order to go to school. When the boys are 11, Two Moons goes through the Navajo ceremony to become a man. Matt's induction into adulthood is wilder and funnier, a wonderfully realized fantasy: his fascination with flying becomes an obsession, and he actually pilots (and crash-lands) a WW I plane the two have helped refurbish. Meanwhile, the boys' irrepressible pranks are related in Matt's rollicking voice--a rare blend of Huck Finn and Clyde Edgerton. Midway, the bittersweet begins to interweave with the comic: a fierce old neighbor turns out to be mourning his young son; Two Moons's grandfather dies, and his tribe decrees that Two Moons must go to his gruff, unloving older sister. The characters in this beautifully crafted debut novel are casually introduced, but each ultimately plays an important role. Matt's parents are tellingly drawn with a few incidents: firm yet indulgent. Matt participates in several Navajo rituals, culminating when he is given a Navajo name (``Blue Between Clouds''). The Navajo's gentleness and earth-protectiveness ring clear and--along with its fun and its fast pace--the story is memorably tuned to the need for fantasy and hope in every life. (Fiction. 10+)

Pub Date: April 1st, 1992
ISBN: 0-8050-1772-0
Page count: 114pp
Publisher: Henry Holt
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: March 15th, 1992




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