Ernie Bond, Carnegie Foundation's Maryland Professor of the Year, has long been an advocate for providing diverse literary experiences for young readers. He has presented around the world on issues related to young adult literature. He also reviews tradebooks for journals including SLJ and Bookbird.
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Bond is an Associate Professor at Salisbury Univers. For his service on this award he was recognized with the President's Gold Volunteer Service Award In the summers he teaches International Children's Literature courses in various countries around the world including New Zealand and Australia. I didn't ask them, it just became a discussion thread. Bond has done an outstanding job.
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Showing of 3 reviews. There was a problem filtering reviews right now. Please try again later. Format: Kindle Edition. Having just finished my English degree and treating myself to a Kindle, I was excited at the prospect of hunting down relatively up-and-coming novelists and finding little gems.
Literature and the Young Adult Reader
I struck gold. This book sensitively and perceptively manages to encapsulate that awkward stage between adulthood and childhood with amazing use of metaphor and analogy. I felt myself drawn to the characters, sympathising with their feelings of displacement. What stood out for me most is the contrasting descriptions of now and then, their lives now and how they used to be. Langley's subtle use of weather fallacy and foreshadowing is beautifully crafted.
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Something I initially found confusing was the form of narration, however the splendid ambiguity about who is actually narrating is the real charm of the novel. Whilst there is a clear omniscient narrator, the free-indirect stance is reminiscent of modernism, and the way that Grant thinks is very subtly different to how other characters do.
Furthermore, the characters certainly seem their age, with Grant being accurately depicted as reckless, inexperienced and slightly melodramatic. Of course, some will be put off by the swearing, but it is a literary choice that has never bothered me. Underlying all this adolescent turmoil is the mystery of Room , which is so brilliantly set up at the opening of the book.
It screams of traditional horror story and sci-fi tropes, cleverly draws out the suspense to the point that I found it hard to sleep for fear of dreaming about the vividly described 'creaking'.
This horrific and enigmatic noise is something Langley does well to explain, an unusual word choice to perfectly express the terrifying sounds of Hanneman House. The characters also comically reference his word choice, only making the reader want to defend it! Although Langley does make references to Stephen King something I fear risks making his work seem derivative his focus on the adolescent characters makes him stand out from many of the copy-cat King writers. Without giving any spoilers away, I would add that Langley masterfully manages to withhold significant information from the reader and release it at perfect moments.
The revelation regarding why Grant visits was gripping, and I felt that it had all been leading to that moment without me realising.