Monday, September 17, 2012

The Shadow Collector’s Apprentice by Amy Gordon - NO

Gordon, Amy The Shadow Collector’s Apprentice, 202 pgs. Holiday House, 2012. $16.95. Language: G; Mature Content: G; Violence: G

 During the summer of 1963, Cully Pennyacre becomes the apprentice to the town’s antique dealer. At first it seems like a good opportunity to earn some money to help his family, but it will turn out to be much more than Cully anticipated. Cully begins to notice that the unique hobby that his employer has of collecting shadows is not as harmless as his boss claims. Can this shadow collecting be the key to explaining why Cully’s father disappeared and why so many of the residents of Medley have begun to behave strangely?

While the plot of this book seemed like it could be interesting and original, the reality is a failure. The book is poorly written with 12-year-olds who speak like they are socially awkward people in their middle-years instead of young kids on the verge of becoming teenagers. The story unfolds slowly and then is resolved in a blur as all the various plot points are wrapped up in just a few pages with consequences and explanations that are trite leaving the reader frustrated.

 EL (4-6)/MS—NO. AEB Social Studies Teacher

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