Bookweird by Paul Glennon
Finished: Oct. 11, 2008
First Published: Aug. 19, 2008
Genre: YA, fantasy
Reason for Reading: Review copy sent to me by Random House Canada . Qualifies for the Canadian Challenge.
The weekend started out well for Norman Jespers-Wilnius.
Comments: Norman's behaviour gets himself grounded from his computer for the weekend. Fortunately, he is also an avid reader so he starts the weekend off by picking up the umpteenth book in his favourite series (a Redwall type of book) as he reads he unconsciously starts picking at a page much farther on in the book and ends up eating the page. When he gets to the page, a major moment in the plot, he finds it gone and realizes what he's done. So off he sets for the library where he meets a very strange new librarian who won't let him have a copy of the book for various reasons. But as Norman leaves the librarian tells him he'll take care of it just go back home and read the book.
So as Norman starts to read his book he falls asleep and wakes up inside the book. His actions start a series of events that change the course of the story and he must put it to rights. When he wakes from this world, his little sister is horrified because the pony book she's read five times has suddenly had the cute little pony killed viciously by gypsies. Norman agrees to read the book and once again falls asleep. He enters the pony book and finds he's let wolf creatures from his book into his sister's book and once again he is in 'bookweird'. He meets the librarian various times throughout these fictional worlds in different personas and he helps Norman set the 'bookweird' havoc right which he has created. Norman also ends up in his mother's serial killer book when a pony turns up instead of body and then his father, a professor, is missing a page from an antique copy of an Anglo-Saxon poem. It's Norman's job to set the fictional world back to order.
This is one of the most creative and unique plots that I have read! Each book that Norman finds himself in is fascinating and the reader becomes entranced by the story. I usually enjoy the "story within a story' format of novels and this was no exception. At points one forgets that the subplot is part of a larger plot and when Norman is whisked from one place to another the reader feels his disorientation themselves. Very well-written, a page-turner and a highly recommended book. The author, Paul Glennon is the author of an adult book which was a finalist for the 2006 GG. This is his first YA book and I hope he continues to write more. His first book The Dodecahedron: Or A Frame for Frames sounds fascinating. I'll have to make sure I go back and read it.