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Summerlandby Michael Chabon
I started reading Summerland on a road trip and couldn't put it down. I was hooked from the moment Ethan and a ragtag group of characters including a depressed Sasquatch and the rudest fairy princess you can imagine embark on their quest to rescue Ethan's dad and save the world. Set partly in the Pacific Northwest and partly in fantasyland, Summerland is the funniest, most suspenseful book I've read in recent years. Suitable for ages ten to one hundred.
Synopses & Reviews
For over a century, the people of Clam Island, Washington, have enjoyed barbecues and baseball games and Summerland, on the Western tip of the island, where it never rains. The small beings — known as ferishers — who ensure this perfect weather, however, are threatened by an ancient enemy, and need a hero — a baseball star, in fact — to vanquish their foe.
Summerland is the story of Ethan Feld, the worst ball player in the history of the game, recruited by a hundred-year-old scout called Ringfinger Brown, himself a Negro League Legend. Accompanied by his determined friend, Jennifer T. Rideout, and guided by a friendly werefox, Ethan struggles to defeat giants, bat-winged goblins, and one of the toughest ballclubs in the realms of magic, to save all the Summerlands, and ultimately the world.
Following the death of his mother, a boy moves with this father to an island, where a mystical baseball scout recruits him for a special mission and escorts him through a gateway to a series of interconnected worlds. In a starred review, PW said that the author "hits a high-flying home run, creating a vivid fantasy where baseball is king." All ages. Publishers Weekly
"A rollicking and fine tale, well told and with moments of real magic, peril, adventure, terror and triumph, not to mention what is, I am certain, the most delightful sound of a window breaking in all of fiction." Neil Gaiman, The Washington Post
"A boon to the 'young readers' it's pitched to and the Jung readers who'll spend seasons analyzing its expansions on world mythology....The author's gifts for metaphor and description hold the spiraling fantasy together, the humble giving human shape to the unreal." Troy Patterson, Entertainment Weekly
"[A] uniquely American fantasy....The sprawling, vigorous narrative pulls out all the stops....
"[Summerland is] a gorgeous book that belongs on bookshelves alongside E. Nesbit, Iva Ibbotson, Pullman and other elegant authors who write for readers who love words. It may be written for young readers, but parents should pick up a copy for themselves." Claire Martin, Denver Post
"Committed fantasy buffs are a breed apart, but even they will have to bring their A-games if they expect to digest this ingredient-rich plot....Still, there is a good story here, semi-buried beneath the world building; maybe a trimmed-down, three-hour movie will salvage it for the more mundane among us." Bill Ott, Booklist
"[A]n amusing, if not entirely satisfying, read....Certainly young readers will delight in the author's masterful use of imagery....In creating Summerland, Chabon plunders the standard young boy's book (and video) library..." James Sullivan, Book Magazine
"Readers will identify with Ethan and his motley crew....Packed with magic, adventure, myth, and America's favorite pastime, this book will enchant its audience." School Library Journal
"[I]t will take at least two reads to appreciate all that Chabon has tried to accomplish — and for the most part, has. A big American fantasy based on North American mythologies, folklore, and our sometimes mythical past and the great pastime of baseball." Susan Hepler, Children's Literature
"The book is beautifully written, but few teen readers will be able to — or want to — navigate their way through Chabon's labyrinth of worlds." VOYA
The #1 New York Times bestseller is now available in paperback. From the 2001 winner of the Pulitzer Prize for Fiction comes the story of a whole new universe — an American version of Middle-earth — with legendary beings, monsters, and mythical creatures, and where the powers of good and evil are engaged in an elaborate battle. Illustrations.
A BookSense 76 pick, and best-seller from coast to coast-Summerland is part fantasy, part adventure, part baseball, but most of all it's the story of a young boy, Ethan Feld-a lousy, but lovable little-leaguer who finds himself playing in the most important baseball game ever. Not only the game, but the fate of the world rests on his shoulders.
About the Author
Michael Chabon is the Pulitzer Prize-winning author of The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier and Clay. His other books include Wonder Boys and The Mysteries of Pittsburgh. He lives in Berkeley, California, with his novelist wife Ayelet Waldman, and their three children.
Table of Contents
1 The Worst Ballplayer in the History of Clam Island, Washington 3
2 A Hot Prospect 36
3 A Whistled-up Wind 61
4 The Middling 98
5 Escape 124
6 Thor's Crossing 153
7 The Eighteenth Giant Brother 163
8 Taffy 172
9 A Game of Catch 180
10 Mr. Feld in the Winterlands 202
11 The Herald 228
12 The Royal Traitor 236
13 The Housebreakers of Dandelion Hill 251
14 A Mother's Tears 263
15 Grim 273
16 A Rat in the Walls 292
17 The Research of Mr. Feld 302
18 On Three Reubens Field 310
19 The Lost Camps 329
20 Rancho Encantado 365
21 Jennifer T. and the Wormhole 381
22 The Bottom-Cat 402
23 The Conquest of Outlandishton 416
24 Applelawn 429
25 A Game of Worlds 455
Epilogue: Life, the World, and Baseball, in the Days After the Flood 477
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