From Publishers Weekly
Like the traditional Irish blessing ("May the road rise up to meet you./ May the wind be always at your back"), the form that Marsden chooses for his modern prayer is a lyrical litany: "May the road be free for the journey,/ May it lead where it promised it would." In his first picture book, the Australian YA novelist (Letters from the Inside) combines modern anxieties ("May every aircraft fly safely") with the language of ancient longings ("May fears always have names"). The stunning graphics and design feature a line or two of the poem on a textured background subtly incorporating a single word, and each spread displays reproductions of extraordinary paintings and photographs. A striking collaged skeleton is juxtaposed with a slick black-and-white photo of hands loading a gun ("May the knife remain in the holder,/ May the bullet stay in the gun"). The plaintive "May we be outlived by our daughters,/ May we be outlived by our sons" appears with three startling photographs and a painting, all of thriving young adults. The brilliant complexity and range of the artwork evocatively counterpoint the simplicity of the poem's entreaties. Best suited to older children and adults, this supremely accomplished work gives uncommon voice to the hopes and fears of people everywhere. All ages.
Copyright 1998 Reed Business Information, Inc.
About the Author
John Marsden is an internationally recognized author of 27 young adult books that have sold over a million copies worldwide. His years of teaching, "The most important job in the world," has fine tuned his understanding of how young people see the world and what troubles them. His books are colored with his humanity and care; by his concern for justice and peace and a horror of cruelty.