When their parents disappear in the middle of the night, young sisters Summer and Bird set off on a quest to find them. A cryptic picture message from their mother leads them to a familiar gate in the woods, but comfortable sights quickly give way to a new world entirely--Down--one inhabited by talking birds and the evil Puppeteer queen. Read more...
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When their parents disappear in the middle of the night, young sisters Summer and Bird set off on a quest to find them. A cryptic picture message from their mother leads them to a familiar gate in the woods, but comfortable sights quickly give way to a new world entirely--Down--one inhabited by talking birds and the evil Puppeteer queen. Summer and Bird are quickly separated, and their divided hearts lead them each in a very different direction in the quest to find their parents, vanquish the Puppeteer, lead the birds back to their Green Home, and discover the identity of the true bird queen.
With breathtaking language and deliciously inventive details, Katherine Catmull has created a world unlike any other, skillfully blurring the lines between magic and reality and bringing to life a completely authentic cast of characters and creatures.
Publishers Weekly® Reviews
- Reviewed in: Publishers Weekly, page .
- Review Date: 2012-08-27
- Reviewer: Staff
After a bewildering day that begins with 12-year-old Summer following the trail of her vanished parents and ends at a bonfire in the forest with Bird, her nine-year-old sister, Summer wakes to find Bird has also abandoned her to follow a path "just for me." There is only the mysterious, elderly Ben for company, along with hints that birds hold the key—sometimes literally—to Summer's questions. Ben's kindhearted but murky guidance (" ‘It might mean just exactly that,' said Ben. ‘But it might also mean more than that' ") doesn't last long, and then there are no reliable adults, no clear roads to follow as Summer struggles to piece together who she is now that the people who defined her are gone. With a fairy tale–tinged sadness reminiscent of Anne Ursu's Breadcrumbs, Catmull's debut is a melancholy quest fantasy with no trophy at the end; instead, Summer finds the most somber of adult realities. The book's greatest strength lies in Catmull's ability to articulate the disorientation and sense of injustice that accompany loss. Ages 10–up. Agent: David Dunton, Harvey Klinger. (Oct.)