Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Nation by Terry Pratchett

"When much is taken, something is returned." Nation is the latest book by Terry Pratchett (best known for his adult sci-fi series Discworld). The book is set in an alternate universe South Pacific and follows 13 year old Mau as he copes with the aftereffects of a tsunami, which kills everyone else on his island. As weeks pass, refuges begin to arrive from the surrounding area, because Mau's island (though tiny) is one of the largest in the area and holds religious significance for the people of the area.

This book is part survival story and part coming of age story, it's about rebuilding a society and young love, it explores issues such as belief and the responsibilities of leadership. It also explores the possibilities of tree climbing octopuses and irreverent parrots "AWK - show us your drawers!", that is to say this book does it all. The only part I didn't enjoy was the last chapter (no worries no spoiler here) which suddenly jumps hundreds of years in the future and acts like this whole thing had been a story told to children by an old man. That would have been okay with me if the book had begun with the storyteller, or even if he had been referenced somewhere in the middle of the story. An unfortunate end to an otherwise great story. Offer this book to fans of survival and adventure stories grades 6+

[click here to see if it's available]

by Patrick