BETWEEN TWO ENDS,
by David Ward
Published by Abrams Books, 5/1/2011
Middle grade fiction, fantasy
This review courtesy of NetGalley.com.
My rating: 4.0 out of 5 stars.
The aspiration of every storyteller is to make the reader believe that they are part of the story. But what if the story is so real, so wonderful, that the reader forgets and instead believes the fiction? And what if you had to get that reader to remember that it’s not real, because by doing so you might help someone you love? What if by even attempting it, you might also become caught in the story’s grasp and become lost to reality forever?
That’s the dilemma facing twelve-year-old Yeats Trafford, whose father entered the world of the Arabian Nights as a child and almost became trapped. He wished himself back, but the girl he accompanied, Shari, did not. Now, twenty years later, the father’s depression threatens Yeats’s family. Yeats must enter the story and bring Shari (now Shaharazad) back by her own free will and, in doing so, rescue his father.
But the storyworld won’t let her go so easily.
Transported to the shores of the Arabian Peninsula by no less than a recalcitrant pair of magical bookends (naturally), named Skin and Bones, Yeats faces considerable challenges. Things don’t go so well. In fact, we begin to question whether Yeats will even survive the experience long enough to get himself out, much less convince Shari to come with him.
“Between Two Ends,” a reference to Skin and Bones and an allusion to being within the story itself, satisfies without overcomplicating. Well paced, well plotted and enthralling from first page to last, David Wards achieves the storyteller’s goal on several levels while reintroducing us to a world at once familiar and strange. A perfect read for hesitant readers and well recommended for any boy or girl.
This review is also posted on the Amazon product page here.
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