Revolver by Marcus Sedgwick

47920828Lynn: Don’t you love it when you find a book that is wonderfully written, will be a sure-fire winner with teens AND provides the perfect booktalking quote too? Revolver (Roaring Brook, 2010) does all this in 200 accessible can’t-stop-reading-them pages.

The book opens with a bang as young Sig looks at the dead body of his father, Einar, who has frozen to death after falling through the ice. It is 1910 in a tiny arctic cabin outside remote Giron, in Swedish Lapland. Sig is waiting for his older sister Anna and his stepmother to return from town with help when there is a knock at the door. A huge bear-like man forces his way into the cabin, demanding to see Sig’s father. Gunther Wolff tells Sig he has been tracking them for ten years and and he wants the gold Einar stole from him. Through flashbacks to 1899 in Nome, Alaska, we learn the story of the family’s past. But neither Sig nor Anna, who returns to the cabin without help, know of any gold. The brutal Wolff refuses to believe them and, brandishing his revolver, asks, “Which one of you do I have to shoot to get the other to tell me where it is?” Trapped and alone, Anna and Sig can think of only two ways out of this situation and both involve a gun.

Loaded with complex issues and shot through with gripping suspense, Revolver and its perfectly aimed ending will blow you away.

Cindy: I don’t think I can compete with Lynn’s metaphors, but let me rifle in my notes a bit and I’ll give it a shot. ūüėČ Seriously, she is dead-on that this is a high caliber adventure and it’s easy to gauge that there will be much interest in this title. The double-action narrative reminds me of John Smelcer’s Alaskan adventure, The Trap. Both books keep the reader turning pages to follow the dueling storylines to the powerful conclusions. Books about guns usually make me recoil, but those with a plea for following a peaceful life bring me to attention. You’ll need a silencer to get me to stop promoting this title with my teens. (Comments to this post MUST include use of gun-related vocabulary. It’s the law.)



About the Author:

Cindy Dobrez and Lynn Rutan are Booklist reviewers and middle-school librarians who have chaired both ALA’s Best Books for Young Adults and the Michael L. Printz Award for YA Literature committees. Follow Bookends on Twitter at @BookendsBlog. You can also find Cindy at @cdobrez and Lynn at @482april.

2 Comments on "Revolver by Marcus Sedgwick"

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  1.' Ed Spicer says:

    My aim is to see if the post office will pop this review on their wall. Folks looking at the pictures (yours up there?) are sure to be another target audience.

  2. Thanks for shooting from the hip, Ed. Nice job. And, no, our photos are not hanging in the wanted gallery…yet.

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