Daily Archives: January 28, 2009

Patrick Ness’s The Ask and the Answer (Chaos Walking)

I found Patrick Ness’s The Knife of Nevery Letting Go remarkable, but with the worst cliff-hanging ending ever.  So, along with other fans, I was thrilled to hear Candlewick editor Andrea Tompa tell us about the sequel at their ALA preview breakfast.  What’s more, she kindly sent the jacket copy so I could post it here.

Fleeing before a relentless army, Todd has carried a desperately wounded Viola right into the hands of their worst enemy, Mayor Prentiss.

Immediately separated from Viola and imprisoned, Todd is forced to learn the ways of the Mayor’s new order.

But what secrets are hiding just outside of town? And where is Viola? Is she even still alive? And who are the mysterious Answer?

And then, one day, the bombs begin to explode. . . .

The second thrilling volume in the Chaos Walking trilogy, The Ask and the Answer is a tense, shocking, and deeply moving novel about resistance under the most extreme pressure.

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Genuine Child Popularity

I suspect that the Newbery award will do for The Graveyard Book what it always does for medalists  — draw children to it. It is my impression (and I’d be happy to be shown some data that proves me wrong) that its popularity prior to the Monday announcement (e.g. its best seller status) was because of teen and adult Gaiman fans not children.  For example, I noticed that only one caller on yesterday’s NPR segment about the book mentioned a child. The rest were adult fans.

Last fall I’d heard some wondering about whether the book would appeal to a younger audience so I read it aloud to my fourth graders to see for myself.  As I wrote here, it was a huge hit; I was convinced then that it was a children’s classic, but I saw very few mentions of other children reading it.  So I’m delighted that the Newbery will now reassure other gatekeepers that this is a book for children as much as for teens and adults.  Truly popular.

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Filed under Neil Gaiman, Newbery