Monday, August 13, 2012


This is one of those books that really makes me admire authors.  The teaser on the back cover promises that the lives of two characters will collide creating a "harrowing climax."  How do authors do that?  Written in a style with alternating chapters, I couldn't for the life of me figure out how author John Corey Whaley would connect these characters, but he did.  Amazing!

Cullen Witter lives in a small Arkansas town changed forever when a famous ornithologist believes he has spotted a long extinct woodpecker.  All the excitement about the bird eclipses the fact that Cullen's cousin recently OD'd and his younger brother has simply vanished.  Cullen watches as his parents and his aunt mourn their losses while at the same time he tries to hold himself together. 

The other storyline in WHERE THINGS COME BACK begins with Benton Sage, a young missionary.  Readers will follow him to college and his eventual disillusionment with religion.  After his suicide, his roommate Cabot and his problems become the focus.

Death, disappearance, lost love, and a town hoping to make history combine to create a unique story that will keep readers hooked until the final page.  I can see why this one won the 2012 Michael L. Printz award.

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