Friday, September 17, 2010

Something Wickedly Weird: The Wooden Mile by Chris Mould

This book's great cover illustration caught my eye and begged me to page through it. Inside I was greeted by more pen and ink drawings all of which were just as grim, but also drawn with a hint of irony, which make the drawings simultaneously ghastly and endearing. The story is, as one would guess from the drawings, wonderfully macabre and when at it's best reminded me of The Graveyard Book; unfortunately, the book was not always at its best and frequently felt formulaic and predictable. It is the story of Stanley, a young boy who inherits a manor on a small island off the coast of England from a long lost great uncle. Upon arriving things are clearly amiss. Over the course of the story Stanley encounters werewolves, pirates and even a talking fish. The story is in fact "wickedly weird." Don't expect this one to win the Newbery Award, but do expect it to delight children between the ages of 7 and 11 who have a taste for adventure and the bizarre.

[click here to see if it's available]

by Patrick