HAPPY MONDAY, guys!
It wasn't exactly fall-like this weekend - it's 87 degrees right now - but reading The Entirely True Story of the Unbelievable FIB definitely helpd me get in the mood. Because how can you resist that cover?
MMGM is a feature hosted by the fabulous Shannon Messenger on her blog every week!
Published September 8th 2015 by Algonquin Young Readers
However, one young human girl proves that an ordinary girl can easily play a part in influencing the course of the gods...
That’s the question eleven-year-old Prudence Potts discovers on a baffling card no one else in Middleton--except ABE, a new kid at school with a knack for solving riddles--seems to see. Then a mysterious man asks for ABE and Pru’s help investigating mythical beings infiltrating the town, and that’s just the first of many things Pru finds hard to believe.
Soon Pru and ABE discover another world beneath their quiet town, where Viking gods lurk just out of sight. And when the pair find themselves locked in a battle against a dangerously clever enemy, they must race to secure the Eye of Odin, source of all knowledge--and the key to stopping a war that could destroy both human and immortal realms.
Author Adam Shaughnessy draws from classic lore to create a tale rich in puzzles, plot twists, charming characters, and sly humor in which uncertainty opens the door to magic and the last thing you should do is believe your own eyes.
Shaughnessy introduces us to Prudence "Pru" Potts, a young eleven-year-old girl who has been struggling to recover after the death of her father, a former police detective. As a result, Pru has been become fixated on solving and figuring out mysteries all around her.
So when a card bearing the intriguing question "What is the unbelievable FIB?" appears in Pru's room, she and new friend ABE become determined to get to the bottom of this mystery too. However, the card opens up an entirely new and unexpected world...
What's great about The Entirely True Story of the Unbelievable FIB, is how effortlessly Shaughnessy integrates classic Norse mythology and the story of Baba Yaga into a contemporary environment. As Pru and ABE begin to dig into the mystery of the postcard, Shaughnessy sets up the idea that magic does exist all around us, but it's only the young and the open-minded, who are able to actually see and interact with said magical elements.
Consequently, it's not at all surprising when Pru and ABE make the acquaintance of the enigmatic Mr. Fox or the foul-mouthed (but equally funny) squirrel Ratatoskr. Shaughnessy beautifully emphasizes the idea that it is through the open-minded nature of young adults like Pru, that they are not only able to accept Mr. Fox and Ratatoskr for who they are, but also act on their behalf as they learn about the objectives of the Norse gods that are slowly taking over their small town. It's both a lesson in open-mindedness and teamwork, which works especially well as the action between the gods begins to heat up.
Outside of the primary, action-packed storyline, readers will likely appreciate both Shaughnessy's realistic take on the gods, and some of Shaughnessy's more subtle lessons as well. There's an underlying emphasis on learning how to trust again after experiencing grief, and not positively or negatively judging people based on their appearance. Pru has been wary since the death of her father, and her experiences with Mr. Fox and the Norse gods, help her find the strength of learning to trust her instincts once more.
Shaughnessy also nicely reiterates the positive value of defining yourself through an identity that you're comfortable with - and both Pru's detective skills and ABE's name preferences - are a positive testament to that quiet but all-important lesson.
Bottom line: The Entirely True Story of the Unbelievable FIB is fun, exciting and a promising start to future adventures. Perfect way to kick-off fall reading.
Pru and Abe are likable, realistic characters that readers will admire, and Shaughnessy's knack for writing richly detailed worlds with smart writing, will keep them coming back for more.