Why "The Search for..."?

I got my title from the book The Search for Delicious by Natalie Babbitt. where there is a wonderful quote--

" 'Of course it's silly,' said the Prime Minister impatiently. 'But a lot of serious things start silly.'"

This particular quote stuck out for me as I was reading The Search for Delicious to my kids this past fall, and I put it aside knowing that I would use it somewhere, sometime. It seems like the perfect subtitle to this blog as many of my musing probably are silly, but may turn serious at any moment!

Friday, August 10, 2012

Tamar by Mal Peet

I've been reading a lot on my kindle this summer, and Amazon does a very nice job of feeding my reading addiction by sending me a daily email with a bargain priced book.  I quickly delete about 99% of these emails because they are mostly adult genre fiction that I don't often read (I make an exception for the occasional cozy mystery).  Still, every once in a while, Amazon throws me something I can't resist for $1.99, and Tamar was one of those titles.  I had never heard of Mal Peet's Carnegie Medal winning novel...not a surprise since Peet is a largely British writer.  Still, the plot teaser intrigued me, so I bought it.  I'm glad I did; Tamar is one of those rare novels that I think would appeal to a large cross-section of readers.

Broadcasting suitcase used by espionage agents 
Historical fiction lovers will enjoy the realistic portrayal of the difficulties of life in Nazi occupied Netherlands.  Mystery lovers will enjoy the parallel plot of young Tamar trying to understand her grandfather's suicide and the box that he left her.  Realistic fiction readers will key into the enormous psychological tension in the novel.  Those who prefer the espionage thriller will thrive on the sections about British espionage during WWII and the Dutch Resistance movement.  And, yes, there is a complicated romantic situation.  Something for everyone!

I will admit that I guessed at least part of the ending, but I still very much enjoyed the journey getting there.  I would recommend Tamar to mature 8th grade readers mostly because of the complicated plot and a few vulgarities.  I look forward to reading more from Mal Peet!

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