Where Things Come Back

This teen title won the 2012 Printz Award, and is the first novel by its author, John Corey Whaley. It’s one of those novels where a string of somewhat bizarre and seemingly unrelated events are all tied together by the ending chapter. It begins in the voice of a 17 yr. old boy, Cullen Witter, who has just seen his second dead body: his cousin Oslo, who has died from years of abusing drugs. The novel continues to explore how humans deal with death, and the threat of losing loved ones, as Cullen’s younger brother Gabriel disappears into thin air one day. The reader is immersed in teenage emotions as Cullen tells his story. The emotions of love, hatred, feelings of failure and success are interspersed with humor to keep the reader engaged. Looking back, the author effectively sucks the reader into Cullen’s world by experiencing life right along with him and the other characters I’m not a fan of first person narrative, but it was essential in this case in order for the reader to relate. I can see how this would have won the Printz and would recommend it for grades 8 and up.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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