BY JACK F.
This was fun.
I met Whales on Stilts! in a used book store and fate took it from the there.
Real talk, author M.T. Anderson sprinkled in all the essential storytelling spices and herbs, including words like:
cad – a man who behaves dishonourably, especially towards women.
vestibule – an antechamber or hall just inside the outer door of a building.
cetacean – an order of marine mammals comprising the whales, dolphins, and porpoises.
sinister – suggestive of evil or harm.
(you’re welcome for that jump in your SAT scores)
dialogue that burns with Shakespearean fire:
“I am cleverly disguised,” he explained, “as the photocopier repairman of the future, when man, through his ingenuity, will conquer even the farthest reaches of space, and need to make duplicates of things.”
“Everyone wants to get back to the place the know best,” said Lily’s grandmother. “When you are old, though, sometimes that place is not just far away on the map but far away in time. How do you get home, then when home is in another era?”
– Lily’s grandmother
thrilling 5 fisted action:
Cars were stopped in the middle of roads so people could run into discount clothing stores. Smoke was pouring out of the gas station. A pop machine had ruptured; dogs licked up Dr. Pepper from the pavement.
And somewhere in all of that chaos, Lily’s grandmother lived.
and all the 3,000 leagues below the Mariana Trench deep stuff:
A whale. It was a whale, a walking whale on stilts, with deadly laser-beam eyes. Her grandpa had always said this time would come.
M.T. had me turning pages, underlining bits of dialogue, and writing back at him in the margins.
Whales on Stilts! is a worthy read. You’ll laugh from your belly, and cry from your ears – and isn’t that all we want from a book?