Welcome to my blog. I often think I was born with a book in my hand. I have always enjoyed reading, but more importantly, talking about books. This blog is partially about reviews, but is really a forum to talk about what I'm reading, and express all of the thoughts and feelings that there simply isn't room for in a professional review. I look forward to hearing your thoughts on your favourite books as you follow my reading journey.

Friday, July 12, 2013

Fantastic Friday Find: Pi In the Sky by Wendy Mass

Twelve-year-old Joss is the seventh son of the Supreme Overlord of the Universe, and the second least smartest of the bunch. (Or so he thinks) All of his brothers have important roles to play in the creation of new worlds. They invent species, choreograph the sunrise or inspire artists. But all Joss gets to do is deliver pies. Of course these pies may actually hold all the secrets of the universe, but to Joss, they're still pies.

When Earth suddenly disappears from the universe, Joss is tasked with the not-so-simple task of bringing it back. With the help of an outspoken Earthling girl named Annika, he embarks on the quest of a lifetime.

I've said it before, and I'll say it again: Wendy Mass is truly one of the most amazing, and underrated authors out there writing for middle-grade readers. Every time I read one of her books I come away feeling like I've been transformed in some way. She creates the most wonderful and imaginative stories, and her characters are always authentic and likable kids.

Pi In the Sky, labeled as science fiction, is a departure from her usual type of story, but it's now one of my favourite reads of the seasons, and a rare 5-starred book for me.

Joss is a typical boy in most ways. He goes to school, has chores, and likes to goof around with his best friend Kal. Nothing unusual about that, right? Right- except for one thing- Although he's twelve by human standards, in the Realms where he lives, he's actually billions of years old. Time exists on a different plane in the Realm- a much, much slower plane. There are lots of interesting things about the Realms, but I'll leave you to discover those when you read the book.

Joss is a wonderful character. Being from a big family, and being the youngest, he's used to staying in the background, and when he's tasked with re-creating Earth, he's genuinely not confused as to why he was chosen. He doesn't believe that there is anything special about himself, but as he progresses in his quest, he surprises himself with what he's able to accomplish, and how special he really is.

Annika is a fantastic foil for Joss, and their relationship grows into a sweet friendship. She has courage where he doesn't. She is curious and smart and strong, and she really pushes him to not give up even when everything seems hopeless. Their interactions are realistic and funny, and her experience in the Realms helps her to grow as much as Joss.

The story is exciting, fun, engaging and extremely inventive, and I really enjoyed the light sprinkling of science facts throughout the book. There is a nice combination of tender and funny moments, and kids will identify with both characters as they learn about family, friendship, and not underestimating themselves. As there always is with anything that Wendy Mass writes, there is a great deal of meat to this novel, making it perfect for reading aloud and sharing at home or in a classroom.

If you haven't read her before, this book is a great introduction to this amazing author, and if you have, you won't be disappointed.