Purple Heart - PDF - PDF

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					November/December 2009                                                  679

power’s real purpose. He and his friends Dysart, Linnet, and Cayley—
a prince, a noble girl, and a street urchin—challenge and manipulate the
stiff rituals and roles of Hoad in order to fulfill their destinies, surpris-
ing one another with their secret identities and desires even as they
survive treachery and more. Mahy majestically deploys the poetic lan-
guage of fantasy to portray the changes and challenges of adolescence;
here, an epic quest for identity is wrapped up in terror, romance, sur-
prise, and suspense—always sustained by luminous imagery and intel-
ligent, musical prose. Language is an organic substance for Mahy: she
links character, setting, plot, and theme in every rich sentence, offering
an adventure story that has its robust share of blood and guts but that
finds its roots in the “inner life of apple trees” and the “breath of break-
ing waves.” deirdre f. baker

Ann M. Martin Everything for a Dog
  211 pp. Feiwel 9/09 isbn 978-0-312-38651-1 $16.99
Three alternating stories—Charlie’s, Henry’s, and dog Bone’s—begin
separately. Bone narrates his own story, a technique Martin used in her
companion novel A Dog’s Life, also narrated by a dog, Bone’s sister,
Squirrel. Charlie’s story is told in the present tense, beginning with the
agony of attending the eighth-grade graduation of his brother, RJ, who
died seven months earlier. Finally, there is Henry, whose story is told in
the conventional third-person past tense, and it is his Christmas list that
provides the title: Henry wants a dog and “everything for a dog.” Each
story is compelling in its own right, but the book becomes even more
powerful when the stories begin to intersect, culminating in a moving
conclusion. From the opening, when Bone describes “how life can
change in an instant—SNAP! The swall
Description: Purple Heart by Patricia McCormick is reviewed.
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