Bob by Wendy Mass
My rating: 4 of 5 stars
Bob is an adorable children’s chapter book that seamlessly weaves a tale that blends multiple genres. Livy returns to Australia to visit her grandmother after five years away, she now 10 years old and wishes people would stop asking her what she remembers from when she was 5. It’s not much. So she’s shocked when she discovers this little green zombie-looking creature in her closet who is incredibly vexed that she doesn’t remember him either – until she starts to discover little things that ring a bell.
Bob is a story with magic and mystery, friendship, and quite a few humorous moments. Publisher’s Weekly, School Library Journal, and Booklist all starred their reviews for this book – which means that they felt it had merit and you should pay attention to it. It is such a cute book that I felt was written very authentically for children. Bob and Livy each had their own unique voices (and Bob was hilarious, let me tell you). As McInerney (2018) wrote in School Library Journal, “Mass and Stead’s brilliant collaboration has produced a beautiful tale of friendship, love, and the magic of childhood. Livy and Bob’s points of view alternate chapters, and each character’s personality is wonderfully realized with subtle nuances of emotion and humor.”
Two books that I feel readers would enjoy are The Creature of the Pines by Adam Gidwitz, Jesse Casey, and Christopher Smith and the Jumbies by Tracey Baptiste because of the elements of friendship and magic that they all share. As all three are urban fantasies (books set in our own world with elements of magic) they are an accessible form of fantasy to readers new to the genre who can find themselves in a familiar world with a hint of the unusual, rather than trying to understand an entirely new world created strictly for the book (ie. the Hobbit or a Wizard of Earthsea).
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Bob by Wendy Mass