I am always happy to be part of a tour with Walden Pond Press, but today I'm really excited. The Dyerville Tales Blog Tour features a giveaway of a signed hardcover book at each stop and reviews, guest posts and interviews. It also features a really fantastic Middle Grade book that I am so in love with. I would put it in any reader's hands. Make sure to follow the rest of the tour so you don't miss your chance to win a copy of The Dyerville Tales and read about the author and what others thought of this really enchanting tale. (see below)
The Dyerville Tales by M.P. Kozlowsky
Walden Pond Press
Hardcover 336 pages
MG/ Fairytale/ Fantasy/Coming of Age
Reviewed ARC from Publisher
To Buy Links: Amazon/ Kindle/ BN/ Book Depository/
Goodreads - A young orphan searches for his family and the meaning in his grandfather's book of lost fairy tales in this stunningly original coming-of-age middle-grade fantasy
Vince Elgin is an orphan, having lost his mother and his father in a fire when he was young, but beyond that, his life hasn't been much of a fairy tale. With only a senile grandfather he barely knows to call family, Vince was remanded to a group home, where he spun fantastical stories, dreaming of the possibility that his father, whose body was never found, might one day return for him. But it's been a long time since the fire, a long time since Vince has told himself a story worth believing in.
That's when a letter arrives, telling Vince his grandfather has passed away. Vince cannot explain it, but he's convinced that if his father is somehow still alive, he'll find him at the funeral. He strikes out for his grandfather's small hometown of Dyerville carrying only one thing with him: his grandfather's journal. The journal tells a story that could not possibly be true, a story of his grandfather's young life involving witches, giants, magical books, and evil spirits. But as Vince reads on and gets closer to Dyerville, fact and fiction begin to intertwine, and Vince finds that his very real adventure may have more in common with his grandfather's than he ever could have known.
M. P. Kozlowsky, the author of Juniper Berry, has crafted a powerfully imaginative novel of the spaces in life where fantasy and reality intersect, a touching story of the things we give up to recover the things we've lost.
REVIEWa Rafflecopter giveaway
Some books just take your breath away when you read them. That's what M.P. Kozlowsky's THE DYERVILLE TALES did to me. Simple yet beautiful. Understated and powerful at the same time. There are two stories within the book, but they are so intertwined, so connected they become one. Sometimes as I was reading, I had to remind myself who I was reading about, which of the characters as they are both named Vince. It is a fairy tale about a boy who decides to take a journey that becomes life changing. But it's also about believing in yourself, in the wonder of the unknown, of the possibilities, of not being afraid. Of just believing, having faith. I'm not sure if there is another book coming, if this a series. It has an ending. But could certainly be carried further. I sure hated closing the book.
Vince- The boy in the orphanage has lost his parents. One to death in a fire. One, he isn't sure. He believes his father is alive and it's his hope and belief that his father is still alive that keeps him going. He is a great storyteller and the kids in the orphanage love his stories. But when he gets word his grandfather has died he decides he wants to attend his funeral. Unfortunately, the orphanage director won't let him go.
The World- It seems to be present day though there is no mention of cell phones. There are computers. There isn't really a context to know what country where the story takes place, but it doesn't affect the story. There are mountains. There is a lot of snow. It could be anywhere. But then there is another world within that created in Vince's grandfather's book of tales. There are giants and witches. Razor sharp mountains and saltwater lakes. And magical worlds.
The Story- Simply put it's Vince's journey from the orphanage to Dyerville to attend his grandfather's funeral. But you know it isn't that simple. He receives word that his grandfather died with a letter from the man that took care of him in the nursing home and a book the man wrote with his grandfather's tales in it. As The Dyerville Tales goes on, Vince reads his grandfather's tales and things start to sound familiar, believable.
My Take- It doesn't matter if you don't like Midde Grade fiction. I think everyone should read this story. It is beautifully written. It reminds me of what it's like to be a kid in a word full of adults telling you that "you can't" or "things aren't like that". It reminds me to believe in possibility. That it just might be real, that thing I want to believe oh so much. And that ultimately, my life is my own to live. Vince makes his own decisions and believes in himself and his choices. He spends so much time hoping to find his father, until he finally realizes just what he needs to know. Umbia Rah!
Here is my favorite quote in the book and made me really reflect on Vince and my own kids. Vince is telling someone why people are looking for him.
Vince: "I ran away from my orphanage to get here. I must have upset a lot of people."
Chris: "And they never stopped to wonder just how upset you might be?" p.281 ARC
Thank you to Walden Pond Press for the ARC for review. This one is definitely going on the special shelf. I’ll have to get my own hardcover copy. It will definitely be a classic
M. P. Kozlowsky is also the author of Juniper Berry. A former schoolteacher, he lives in New York City with his wife and daughter. Visit him online at mpkozlowsky.com
The Always Awesome Team at Walden Pond Press are offering one of you lucky readers a chance to win a signed copy of THE DYERVILLE TALES by MP KOZLOWSKY.
Just fill out the Rafflecopter form below. US and Canada only J
The Rest of the Tour
4/28 - Word Spelunking Book Blog
4/29 - Book Smugglers
4/29 - KidLit Frenzy
4/30 – Mundie Kids
5/1 - Bunbury In the Stacks
5/3 - The Book Rat
5/5 – Mundie Kids
5/6 - Bluestocking Thinking
5/7 - Small Review
5/7 - Paige in Training
5/8 - Novel Novice
5/9 - Buried in Books
5/10 - The Book Monsters
5/13 - The Flashlight Reader
5/14 - The Hiding Spot