Mother Daughter Book Reviews is pleased to be shining the spotlight on children’s book author, Lisa Graff. Scroll down to read my review of her latest book, “A Clatter of Jars” (released May 24, 2016) and enter to win a prize pack containing a full set of Lisa Graff paperbacks in our giveaway (US only).
About “A Clatter of Jars”
Title: A Clatter of Jars | Author: Lisa Graff | Publication Date: May 24, 2016 | Publisher: Philomel Books | Pages: 224 | Ages: 8 to 12
For magically Talented kids, the place to be is Camp Atropos, where they can sing songs by the campfire, practice for the Talent show, and take some nice long dips in the lake. But what the kids don’t know is that they’ve been gathered for a reason—one that the camp’s director wants to keep hidden at all costs. Meanwhile, a Talent jar that has been dropped to the bottom of the lake has sprung a leak, and strange things have begun to happen. Dozens of seemingly empty jars have been washing up on the shoreline, Talents have been swapped, and memories have been ripped from one camper’s head and placed into another—and no one knows why. A return to the world of A TANGLE OF KNOTS, this camp for Talented kids might just be a recipe for disaster!
In this whimsical children’s fantasy, the sequel to the highly acclaimed A Tangle of Knots, readers are transported back to Lisa Graff’s magic-filled world where children have special “Talents”: Lily is a “Pinnacle” who has the ability to move things with her mind; Renny has a reputation for being a “Recollector” (i.e., the ability to transplant memories from one mind to another); and, Chuck, much to her own surprise, is about to uncover her own secret Talent.
As the most remarkable children in the world gather at Camp Atropos for summer camp, little do they know that the camp’s director, Jo, has brought them together with her own purposes in mind. When a jar containing a mysterious talent is dropped in Lake Atropos, it sets off a series of events that will change the children’s and the camp director’s perspectives of their Talents forever.
A Clatter of Jars is a delightful fantastical tale weaving together the themes of family, forgiveness, jealousy, and self-acceptance. The story is told through the eyes of four characters (3 children and 1 adult), each of which is struggling with their own issues concerning their family. Children will likely be able to identify with the thoughts and emotions experienced by at least one of the characters, although the change in perspectives may be difficult for some children to follow. I also thought the inclusion of recipes for some yummy summertime drinks was an added bonus!
Also of note, I would recommend reading A Tangle of Knots prior to picking up A Clatter of Jars as I think it would have helped orient me to the story. The Prologue in particular was confusing for me and felt disconnected from the rest of the story. I also felt like it took a bit of time to get into the story, but once it got rolling, it was very enjoyable.
My Bottom Line: I recommend A Clatter of Jars to fans of magical realism looking for a fun adventure and a story with themes which are significant and meaningful to the target audience, 8 to 12 year old children.
* This book was provided to us by the publisher free-of-charge in exchange for our honest reviews. All opinions expressed are our own. *
More Buzz About the Book
Readers will love the inventiveness—and the sadness—of every storyline… This is a novel that rewards a second—or even a third—reading.”—Kirkus Reviews
“Warmhearted…Graff brings the plot threads to a satisfying resolution.”—Publishers Weekly
“The tale comes full circle sweetly, with a fun twist that connects lives from both books in an unexpected way… Graff is a master of the magical realism genre, and this offering is worthy of a spot in any middle grade collection.”—School Library Journal
“Highly satisfying…Graff’s vivid character development and world building makes for tight plotting and nicely negotiable complexity.”—Booklist
About the Author: Lisa Graff
Lisa Graff is the critically acclaimed and award-winning author of the National Book Award nominee A Tangle of Knots, as well as Lost in the Sun, Absolutely Almost, Double Dog Dare, Umbrella Summer, The Life and Crimes of Bernetta Wallflower, The Thing About Georgie and Sophie Simon Solves Them All. Originally from California, she lived for many years in New York City and now makes her home just outside of Philadelphia. For more information, please visit http://www.lisagraff.com/books.html
* Book Giveaway *
Prize: One winner will receive a prize pack giveaway of a full set of Lisa Graff paperbacks, including A Clatter of Jars, A Tangle of Knots, Absolutely Almost, Lost in the Sun, and Double Dog Dare
Contest ends: July 7, 11:59 pm, 2016
Open: United States
How to enter: Please enter using the Rafflecopter widget below.
Terms and Conditions: NO PURCHASE NECESSARY TO ENTER OR WIN. VOID WHERE PROHIBITED BY LAW. One winner will be randomly drawn through the Rafflecopter widget and will be contacted by email within 48 hours after the giveaway ends. The winner will then have 72 hours to respond. If a winner does not respond within 72 hours, a new draw will take place for a new winner. Odds of winning will vary depending on the number of eligible entries received. This contest is in no way sponsored, endorsed or administered by, or associated with Facebook. This giveaway is sponsored by Penguin Young Readers/Random House and is hosted and managed by Renee from Mother Daughter Book Reviews. If you have any additional questions – feel free to send and email to Renee(at)MotherDaughterBookReviews(dot)com.