Rating: 1-5 (5 is an excellent or a starred review) 5
Genre: realistic fiction
What did you like about the book? A group of sixth graders from a small town in Ohio find themselves drawn together by a local legend connected to an old well in the woods. The story is told from the perspective of a number of different characters. Each one has his or her own distinctive voice, and most of them are people I would like to know. The premise is fascinating, and the ways the characters’ lives intertwine and impact each other is a wonderful thing. There are some epiphanies, both small and large, and a bit of suspension of disbelief is required. I loved the overall positive message of the book, which the author achieved without being preachy. Although it’s written for middle-grade readers, it’s the sort of book I want to hand to everyone I know.
Anything you didn’t like about it? There was one aspect of the plot which stretched credulity for me, but in the end it didn’t spoil my enjoyment.
To whom would you recommend this book? Read Alikes? Recommend to readers looking for books with realistic, sympathetic male characters. Also recommend the books of Andrew Clements and John David Anderson.
Who should buy this book? Middle schools and public libraries should purchase this engaging title.
Where would you shelve it? Middle-grade fiction
Should we (librarians/readers) put this on the top of our “to read” piles? Yes.
Reviewer’s Name, Library (or school), City: Renée Wheeler, Leominster Public Library, Leominster, MA
Date of review: December 5, 2018