Scholastic. Sept. 2021. 208p. Tr $15.99. ISBN 9781338777246.
Gr 6 Up–Author and artist Selznick delivers big in his ambitious new short story collection. While the page count may be slight in comparison to some of his best-known titles (including The Invention of Hugo Cabret, Wonder), this is by far his most complex work to date. Divided into thirds—Morning, Afternoon, Evening—this book explores the relationship of an unnamed narrator and their companion, James (both characters adhere to the white default). The stories’ connections come into sharper focus as the reader moves from Morning to Evening, though a great deal is left entirely open to interpretation. Key themes include friendship, love, grief, dreams, reality, and god—heavy fare for readers both young and old. The stories cover myriad genres, but even as the characters shift and change, “I” and “James” are constants (of a sort). Each story is prefaced by two illustrations: a representational image and a kaleidoscopic abstraction. Selznick has rendered the powerful illustrations in his signature black and white, with rich tonal work and keen details; the book’s cover is stunningly executed in colored pencil.
VERDICT This title is unique in its appeal and would be a valuable addition to middle grade, young adult, and adult/general interest collections alike.

Be the first reader to comment.

Comment Policy:
  • Be respectful, and do not attack the author, people mentioned in the article, or other commenters. Take on the idea, not the messenger.
  • Don't use obscene, profane, or vulgar language.
  • Stay on point. Comments that stray from the topic at hand may be deleted.
  • Comments may be republished in print, online, or other forms of media.
  • If you see something objectionable, please let us know. Once a comment has been flagged, a staff member will investigate.



We are currently offering this content for free. Sign up now to activate your personal profile, where you can save articles for future viewing