Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Kepler's Dream (MG)

Kepler's Dream. Juliet Bell. 2012. Penguin.  256 pages.

It was the middle of the night, and that's not a time when you want to be hearing strange noises. I don't care how brave you are. No one wants to be restless and almost-sleep, then rustled awake by a thudding overhead and the feeling that someone is trying to get into the room.

Ella, our heroine, is visiting a grandmother she's never met, her paternal grandmother. Her father, whom she barely knows, does not get along with his mother. But Ella has to spend the summer with someone since her mother will be undergoing treatment for her leukemia. (She'll be receiving a bone marrow transplant, I believe.) And her grandmother is her last option, her only option.
Ella's first impressions of her grandmother, of her grandmother's house, are priceless. But through the course of a summer, the eccentricity and quirks of her grandmother have become familiar and comfortable. And she's made other friends as well.

Kepler's Dream is about a dysfunctional family who has a rather unique opportunity to heal, to mend, to come together. Could Ella  help bring her father and grandmother together again? Perhaps. For Ella who has never really known her grandmother and does not really know her father, it's an unique opportunity, for she'll get a chance to get to know them, to get to love them, to make them a part of her family.

But Kepler's Dream is also a mystery. And Ella's curiosity and determination to solve the mystery, to learn WHO stole her grandmother's precious book, Kepler's Dream, is the beginning of that opportunity. This mystery is the catalyst for a family to come together again.

I liked this one. I definitely liked it. There were places I just loved it. I liked the narrative voice, how Ella's reading influences her as a narrator. I love her grandmother's bookish lifestyle, and how she's always getting book deliveries. I liked how these relationships, friendships, happened naturally--nothing forced, nothing instant, nothing magical. I loved getting to know Ella at a very vulnerable time in her life. The thing I absolutely LOVED about this one were Ella's letters to her mom.

Read Kepler's Dream
  • If you like bookish heroines
  • If you like children's mysteries
  • If you like family books, plenty of drama but heart as well
© 2012 Becky Laney of Becky's Book Reviews

1 comments:

Jason Gosseck 3:50 PM  

I also write book reviews. I really enjoyed searching your blog. I am an avid reader and writer myself. I love the written word. Thanks for the reads!!

http://www.thejagreview.blogspot.com

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Review Policy

I am interested in reviewing books and audio books. This blog focuses on books written for middle grade on up (essentially 10 to a 110). I review middle grade fiction and young adult fiction (aka tween and teen).

I also review adult books.

I read in a variety of genres including realistic fiction, historical fiction, mystery, romance, science fiction, fantasy, literary fiction, and chick lit. (I've read one western to date.)

I read a few poetry books, a few short story collections, a few graphic novels, a few nonfiction books.

I am especially fond of:

  • Regency romances (including Austen prequels/sequels)
  • Historical fiction set in the Tudor dynasty
  • Historical fiction and nonfiction set during World War II
  • Jewish fiction/nonfiction
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  • apocalyptic fiction
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  • fantasy
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I am not a fan of:

  • sports books
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  • dog books if the dog dies (same goes with most pets actually except maybe fish)
  • westerns (if it's a pioneer story with women and children, then maybe)
  • extremely violent books with blood, blood, and more blood

I am more interested in strong characters, well-written, fleshed-out, human characters. Plot is secondary to me in a way. I have to care about the characters in order to care about the plot. That being said, compelling storytelling is something that I love. I love to become absorbed in what I'm reading.

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