What It Is About: Oscar is one of the most memorable characters you will ever read about. He is a young boy that works for a magician in a magical village. While living in the lower level of Caleb's (the magician) shop, Oscar is in charge of getting different plants, herbs, and materials that Caleb will use for his magic and potion. He struggles to understand this world and the people in it. Wolf is the apprentice for Caleb and is a nasty and mean young man. His main goal is to make life miserable for Oscar. When Caleb leaves to visit another "world" and Wolf ends up dead, Oscar is in for some life changing events. There is an evil creature on the lose and the magic in the village is disappearing. The young children are getting sick and changing rather quickly. Oscar's only true friend Callie, is determined to find out what is going on and to find a way to change it. Oscar has spent his entire life alone, not being able to truly communicate with other people, and very unsure of himself. Callie and Oscar sent out to battle the "monster", find a cure for all the illness, and bring back some sort of normalcy to the village.
What I Thought Of It: The bottom line is this is a top-notch book with an incredible story line. The writing that Anne Ursu has given the reader is special, unique, and beautiful. This is such a special story and I enjoyed each and every page. I found it to be a complex story and at times I found myself a little confused as to what was going on. Part of that is my fault because I tend to read too fast and probably miss a thing or two along the way. The character of Oscar was unbelievable and really made the story what it was. He will remain with me for some time to come. It was truly a pleasure to read and definitely worth the wait.
Who Should Read It: Everyone should read this book. Anne Ursu is a talented writer and has brought a story that needs to be read and shared by as many people as possible. It is a longer book so I think readers in fifth/sixth grade, or above, would be perfect for this book. Depending on your class, this could make for an excellent read aloud for students in grades four through six. I'm so happy that I had the pleasure of reading this truly special book, communicate with the author via Twitter, and had the privilege of meeting the author right here in the Twin Cities. Happy Reading...
Rating: 4 STARS out of 5 Stars!