Friday, April 13, 2012
1) Wolverton, Barry. Neversink. 2012. Walden Pond Press. Hardbound: 288 pages. Price: $16.99 U.S.
SUMMARY: Along the Arctic Circle lies a small island called Neversink, whose jagged cliffs and ice-gouged rocks are home to a colony of odd-looking seabirds called auks, including one Lockley J. Puffin. With their oceanfront views and plentiful supply of fish, the auks have few concerns—few, save for Lockley's two best friends, Egbert and Ruby, a know-it-all walrus and a sharp-tongued hummingbird.
But all of this is about to change. Rozbell, the newly crowned king of the Owl Parliament, is dealing with a famine on the mainland of Tytonia—and he has long had his scheming eyes on the small colony to the north. Now Neversink's independence hangs in the balance. An insurgence of owls will inevitably destroy life as the auks know it—unless Lockley can do something about it.
Barry Wolverton's debut is an epic tale of some very un-epic birds, a fast-paced and funny story of survival, friendship, and fish.
RECOMMENDATION: For ages 8-12. Wolverton emailed me to confirm my suspicion that the main character Lockley was named after Welsh ornithologist Ronald Mathias Lockley (8 November 1903 - 12 April 2000) who in 1953 had the book Puffins published by Dent of London. Lockley wrote The Private Life of the Rabbit (1964), which played an important role in the plot development of Richard Adams' famous book Watership Down. Fans of the Guardians of Ga’Hoole series should enjoy this book!