Monday, August 13, 2012

Where Things Come Back

-- John Corey Whaley

Bibliography: Whaley, John Corey (2011). Where Things Come Back. New York: Atheneum. 228 pps.

Michael L. Printz
William C. Morris Debut 

Lily, Arkansas is a small town where most spend their time growing up figuring out ways to leave, and where those do leave, often find themselves reluctantly back only short years later.   When a pseudo ornithologist claims he has discovered that the Lazarus Woodpecker, thought to be extinct, has made its way back to the woods and riverbanks of the area, the town suddenly has some hope that there is a reason to stay here after all.  As this small town searches for meaning in an extinct bird’s revival, Cullen Witter struggles to maintain hope that his missing brother will also return to the boundaries of town.

Whaley creates a semi-thriller with Where Things Come Back.  He weaves two stories together with a small yet important link.  At times I felt like the story moved slowly, but by the end I was pleasantly surprised by the development overall.  Whaley bridges issues such as loss, hopelessness, growing up, and friendship among others.

Where Things Come Back could be a good book for grades 10th and above because of some content.  It would work well for individuals or small groups.

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