Thursday, January 29

Boys of Blur

Boys of Blur
N. D. Wilson

My rating: ★★

ISBN: 978-0449816738
Publisher: Random House
Date of publication: April 8, 2014
Age: Grades 5 - 7
Genre: Horror

Themes: football, folklore, family, courage

Charlie has just moved to Taper, Florida—a small town isolated by everglades and swamps, and covered in sugarcane. It breeds the fastest runners and football players in the state, boys that chase muck rabbits in the fields when the cane is being burned and harvested. But it also breeds a dark secret, growing under the ancient mounds and roaming the cane at night. Together with his cousin, Charlie will hunt the secret and try to save those he loves.

This book has popped up a few times as a possible Newbery nominee, which is why I read it. And I can see why: it combines the ancient epic of Beowulf with African American lore in an engaging way. But it also combines child abuse, race relations, the South's love of football, zombies, blended family relationships, and more. In 200 pages. Yeah. There's a lot of gaps, jumps, and confusing little twists. Not to mention I was just really blind-sided by the zombie aspect: nothing on the cover, summary, or elsewhere led me to believe it was a horror story.

The characters came off flat, probably because there just wasn't time to develop them. Charlie's tumultuous relationship with his birth father comes to a head quite suddenly and ends just as quick. His mother makes, like, two appearances, even though her son is running all over creation with zombies. There's just too much crammed into one little book. With a big dose of weird. I didn't much like it.

If you really want to, find it at your library or on Amazon

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