Monday, August 10, 2009
The Garden of Eve by K. L. Going
Release Date: Available now in hardcover and paperback from Houghton Mifflin!!
Evie doesn't believe in magic anymore. After all, if magic were real, her mom would still be alive.
But when Evie moves to Beaumont, New York, where her father has bought a withered apple orchard that the townspeople whisper is cursed, she learns about a lost girl, receives a mysterious seed, and meets a boy who claims to be dead.
Before long, Evie finds herself in the middle of a fairy tale. And this one is real.
I decided to read this one, because it's on the Mark Twain list, which is chosen by MASL (Missouri Association of School Librarians). In most elementary schools including the one where I will be working, we try to encourage the kids to read some books from this list, so I figured if I expected them to read them, I should too. If you see some middle grade or younger books showing up on my blog, they are most likely from this list.
They choose these books for a reason, and after reading The Garden of Eve, I can see why it was added to the list. This is a really beautiful story about a father and daughter trying to find their way through a profound loss. Anyone who has ever lost someone close to them will appreciate the emotions that Evie experiences throughout this book.
Evie's story does have some touches of magic, but the real magic is how she comes to terms with the loss of her mother and helps a friend come to terms with a loss of their own. The setting of the "withered" orchard is perfect to set the tone for the story. It's all about death and rebirth.
I recommend this one, even if you don't usually read books for younger readers. It's a quick and yet powerful book that will stay with me for a long while. I'll have no problem sharing this title with my future students and I think they'll find it just as magical and moving as I did.