Reviews of the Week: Shaun Tan, Robert Olen Butler, Laurie Halse Anderson and More!

The Singing BonesMonday, July 11

The Singing Bones
by Shaun Tan

Acclaimed author, artist, and illustrator Shaun Tan is no stranger to things wondrous and strange, so it seems only natural that his latest book taps the world of Grimms’ Fairy Tales for inspiration. Seventy-five are included here, ranging from well-known favorites to the downright obscure.


TPerfume Riveruesday, July 12

Perfume River by Robert Olen Butler

Life has a way of slipping by when we’re not looking. Secrets stay hidden, slowly eroding the truth between people, and then, again and again, we fail to act, further solidifying the barriers that keep us from one another and from ourselves. So it is in Butler’s latest novel, a deeply meditative reflection on aging and love, as seen through the prism of one family quietly torn asunder by the lingering effects of the Vietnam War.

A Child of BooksWednesday, July 13

A Child of Books by Oliver Jeffers and Sam Winston

“I am a child of books,” a little girl declares. “I come from a world of stories.” And so begins this enchanting tale of a little girl sailing away on a sea made, literally, of words—as are many other things in her bookcentric world. Words are fashioned into the shapes of mountains, a monster, a dark cave, and more as the girl is joined by a boy on an adventure that dramatically demonstrates the freedom of imagination.

Here I AmThursday, July 14

Here I Am by Jonathan Safran Foer

Family and what it means to be Jewish, subjects of infinite complexity, are novelist Foer’s preoccupation and inspiration. In his first novel in 11 years—a far longer, edgier, and more caustically funny tale than Everything Is Illuminated (2002) and Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close (2005)—he choreographs the disintegration of the once blissfully close marriage of architect Julia and TV writer Jacob, exploring how their changing relationship affects their three sons.

AshesFriday, July 15

Ashes by Laurie Halse Anderson

Co-protagonists Isabel and Curzon (Chains, 2008, and Forge, 2010) return in this long-awaited third and final volume in Anderson’s award-winning Seeds of America trilogy. The year is now 1781, and the two teenage fugitives are 12 miles from Charleston, South Carolina, in search of Isabel’s younger sister, Ruth, stolen away from her many years before.



About the Author:

Eugenia Williamson is the Associate Editor of Digital Products at Booklist. She worked in bookstores for twelve years, reviews books for The Boston Globe, and writes about books, culture, and politics for several other publications. Follow her on Twitter at @Booklist_Genie.

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