Friday, December 30, 2011
by David Almond
Liam and his friend Max are playing in their neighborhood when the call of a bird leads them out into a field beyond their town. There, they find a baby lying alone atop a pile of stones—with a note pinned to her clothing. Mystified, Liam brings the baby home to his parents. They agree to take her in, but police searches turn up no sign of the baby’s parents. Finally they must surrender the baby to a foster family, who name her Allison.
Visiting her in Northumberland, Liam meets Oliver, a foster son from Liberia who claims to be a refugee from the war there, and Crystal, a foster daughter. When Liam’s parents decide to adopt Allison, Crystal and Oliver are invited to her christening. There, Oliver tells Liam about how he will be slaughtered if he is sent back to Liberia. The next time Liam sees Crystal, it is when she and Oliver have run away from their foster homes, desperate to keep Oliver from being sent back to Liberia. In a cave where the two are hiding, Liam learns the truth behind Oliver’s dark past—and is forced to ponder what all children are capable of.
I had a really hard time with this book. It's short and easy to read, so it wasn't that I couldn't understand it, really...it was that I had no connection with the characters. I would latch on to one piece of the plot and then the author would switch focus to a totally different aspect of what was going on...it was disjointed and I just couldn't make heads or tails of the real point of the book.
It was not the right book for me.