"I liked it mom, but it had some odd twists to it that made it weird".
So with that endorsement let me tell you about a book we recently reviewed on behalf of Raincoast Books. The book is called "Return to Augie Hobble" and is written by Lane Smith. Lane Smith is a prolific author.
He lives with his parents (his dad owns an amusement park) in Fairy Tale Place. Hogg Wills regularly bullies him just because he can. I have to admit, this part of the book caused my son to ask lots of questions. Why do people do mean things to other people. Augie didn't do anything to deserve that. Why would the boy be so mean? Good source of discussion that.
Anyways, it's getting on time for summer break from school but Augie has a problem.... he's failed creative arts and needs to make up the credit over summer. Now to find a new project to do. My son loved this. Pictures, short vignettes, stories... he laughed, he helped me read, and it just totally drew us into Augie as a character.
We liked Augie, seemed like a normal child, dealing with regular middle school issues.
My son kept asking for this book to be read, he was enjoying it...but then the book took an odd turn. My son's shock should have been recorded! :)
Oh my. Things reach into the paranormal. This is where my lad says "the book is weird mom". We still were very much desirous of knowing how things would turn out with Augie. Would he sort things out with his tormentor? (the method he used made us laugh, but provoked good discussion on the rightness or wrongness of it). Would he come to an understanding over the unthinkable? (he did...and all I can say is interesting flip). Would he make new friends at all? What's with the guy in the hoodie and those Special Special Agents....what's with them???
So many questions that needed answering and we managed to get answers.
It was a book of unexpected tosses and turns.....
It did the job of keeping us well entertained.
Would I have chosen to read this book with my lad if I had known about those unexpected turnings? Probably not...
But it was an interesting book to read and provoked good discussion twixt my boy and me.
I will leave it to your discretion if you want to read it with your children, or even preview it before you let them read it :)
Received: Softcover, pre-release copy
Title: Return to Augie Hobble
Author: Lane Smith
Age Range: 8-12 years.
Publisher: Roaring Brook Press
Reviewed for Raincoast Books.
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