Tuesday, March 6, 2012

Russell Hoban's new YA novel, Soonchild, reviewed, The Guardian, reprint

This is a novel I'll be reading in a few weeks with my Adolescence in Literature students. I think it's one of Hoban's best, but he's a quirky writer. If you're reading the book, let us know what you think.


By Russell Hoban (author) and Alexis Deacon (illustrator)

Hardback : 144 pages
Imprint: Walker Books Ltd; (1 March 2012)
ISBN-13: 9781406329919

Somewhere in the Arctic Circle, Sixteen-Face John, a shaman, learns that his first child, a soonchild, cannot hear the World Songs from her mother's womb. The World Songs are what inspire all newborns to come out into the world, and John must find them for her. But how? The answer takes him through many lifetimes and many shape-shifts, as well as encounters with beasts, demons and a mysterious benevolent owl spirit, Ukpika, who is linked to John's past...Legendary storyteller, Russell Hoban whisks his readers across frozen landscapes, to the edges of cliffs, into tiny rocky crannies, and down into the belly of a great swallowing demon - and has them laughing and weeping by turns along the way. Lyrical illustrator, Alexis Deacon meets the spirit of Hoban's vision head-on, and brilliantly captures the dark magic that lies at the heart of this fable.

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