Monday, June 23, 2014

Falcon in the Glass for Marvelous Middle Grade Monday


(Please note that I'm scheduling this post ahead of time, but I'll be flying back from a vacation, and probably won't be able to respond to comments or visit your blogs until Tuesday or Wednesday. Bear with me!)




Falcon in the Glass by Susan Fletcher (July 2013, Margaret K. McElderry Books for Young Readers, for ages 10 to 14)

Source: library

Synopsis (from the publisher): In Venice in 1487, the secrets of glassblowing are guarded jealously. Renzo, a twelve-year-old laborer in a glassworks, has just a few months to prepare for a test of his abilities, and no one to teach him. If he passes, he will qualify as a skilled glassblower. If he fails, he will be expelled from the glassworks. Becoming a glassblower is his murdered father’s dying wish for him, and the means of supporting his mother and sister. But Renzo desperately needs another pair of hands to help him turn the glass as he practices at night.

One night he is disturbed by a bird—a small falcon—that seems to belong to a girl hiding in the glassworks. Soon Renzo learns about her and others like her—the bird people, who can communicate with birds and are condemned as witches. He tries to get her to help him and discovers that she comes with baggage: ten hungry bird-kenning children who desperately need his aid. Caught between devotion to his family and his art and protecting a group of outcast children, Renzo struggles for a solution that will keep everyone safe in this atmospheric adventure. 


Why I recommend it: It's historical fiction that reads like a thrilling adventure story. If you like Karen Cushman, Gary Blackwood, or Linda Sue Park's A Single Shard, you'll love this book. The writing is gorgeous, and rich in sensory images. I've been a fan of Susan Fletcher since I read Shadow Spinner many years ago and her writing is masterful. Read this one to study how she handles third person.

Author's website

For other MMGM posts, see Shannon's links.


16 comments:

  1. Safe travels back home! Have officially moved this up up (ridiculously large) TBR pile...thanks!

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    1. Thanks, Deb. The jet lag is still affecting me, which is why I'm so far behind on visiting blogs. But I'll get to them. Hope you do get a chance to read this book.

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  2. When I was younger, the first book I read with a bird as an important character was MY SIDE OF THE MOUNTAIN. That hooked me. I had not heard of this one and it sounds fantastic. Thanks for featuring and safe travels!

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    1. Thanks, Greg. I didn't read My Side of the Mountain until recently, but yes, the bird played an important part in that. You'd like this one too.

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  3. Oh, wow, this one sounds great. Thanks for telling me about it. Hope you have a good trip home.

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    1. Thanks, Rosi. I'm still recuperating. :)

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  4. I read this last year and just loved it. It's so beautifully written, like all Fletcher's work.

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    1. Yes, yes! Glad to hear you also loved it. She's a talented writer.

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  5. This is intriguing! I love the idea of a book that features glass blowing. It's something that fascinates my kids whenever we come across it. I also love the idea of humans communicating with birds. This is another one for my TBR list!

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    1. That's great, Andrea. And glass blowing certainly doesn't show up in many children's books.

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  6. Wow, the summary had me already, but then you went and said, "If you like Karen Cushman" and now I'm fully locked into this one. I loooooove Karen Cushman :)

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    1. So do I, Jess!

      And I can't wait to read your book.

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  7. I have added this one to my list! It sounds like a book I shouldn't miss and I love that it is so unique. Thanks for sharing! :)
    ~Jess

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    1. You're welcome, Jess, and thanks for stopping by.

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  8. It's interesting. The Shadow Spinner was one of the first books I read when I started paying more attention to diverse books. That was in 2011. I had no idea she wrote another book.
    Got to check it out.
    Thanks for the recommendation, Joanne!

    ~Akoss

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    1. She's actually written quite a few books, but most seem to be for adults. Her other book for younger people is Alphabet of Dreams. I'll bet you'd like that one too, Akoss.

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