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Duck Boy Paperback – October 16, 2012
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This month's Book With Buzz: "Stranger in the House" by Shari Lapena
In this neighborhood, danger lies close to home. A thriller packed full of secrets and a twisty story that never stops - from the bestselling author of "The Couple Next Door." See more
"This debut YA novel by Canadian academic and essayist Bill Bunn is an exciting read, with vividly realized characters and an intriguing plot that maintains suspense through to the last page"-Robina Williams, author of the Quantum Cat series
About the Author
Bill Bunn is the author of four books, several essays and articles. His second young adult novel, Kill Shot, was released in 2015. He published his first young adult novel, Duck Boy, in 2012. His second book is a collection of grown-up essays and articles titled Hymns of Home, released in 2013. In 2003, Moon Canoe, a children’s picture book was published. This book was bought and translated into French and released as Canoë Lune (2005). He is currently writing two pages a day to generate the rough draft of his next novel. Bill Bunn lives near Millarville, Alberta, Canada. He and his wife, Linda, take care of three teenagers, two dogs, two cats, and two hives of bees. Bill teaches English at Mount Royal University. http://www.billbunn.net http://www.facebook.com/billbunnauthor
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Top customer reviews
Christmas is coming and it looks like it's going to be another crappy year. Steve's dad has to go on a business trip for work OVER the holiday. So, Steve gets sent to his aunts house. To say she is a little nutty is and understatement. The woman carries around her dead sons ashes in a box and talks to them and even decides to wrap them up for the holiday so that he is "festive" for the occasion.
She is also very committed to finding his mother. She tells Steve that his mother would never left him and his father willingly. She tells him that his mother was into Alchemy and that she had been studying the practice for quite some time. She thinks somehow this practice is related to her disappearance
Steve's Aunt also tells him that she too practices Alchemy and would like to show him the ropes so that he can help in tracking down his mother. He thinks she is off her rocker, but agrees to be open to her teachings.
Then his mother disappears. His father, who travels for his work, sends him to stay with his eccentric Aunt Shannon. Aunt Shannon is a budding alchemist. When she shows Steve how to transform a clock into a lock with the use of alchemy, Steve becomes excited. His mother's disappearance may be the result of alchemy and maybe he and Aunt Shannon can use it to find her.
Unfortunately, Aunt Shannon's experiments have attracted the attention of a rival group of alchemists and soon mayhem ensues: Aunt Shannon also disappears, Uncle Edward is kidnapped, and Steve is on the run, pursued by both the police who think he's guilty of the strange disappearances as well as the bad guys who want his knowledge.
Duck Boy is a fun story aimed at middle-graders. It's full of eccentric characters, exciting chases and a strange alternate world. My one complaint with the book would be the ending which seems a little contrived. Overall, though, I suspect children will enjoy the non-stop action.
I found myself laughing at Steve's asides, and loved the mischievous Aunt Shannon. It's easy to relate to an awkward teenager who hasn't yet found his or her way, whether you're currently one yourself, or you're several decades beyond that.
This is actually the tale of discovering modern alchemy, told as a young boy discovers his true potential. The boy in the story has experienced the sudden disappearance of his mother and must cope with that as well as the stresses of trying to fit in with others outside of his home. The quest to find out what happened to his mother takes him on an interesting journey that is sometimes reminiscent of Alice in Wonderland. There were times when I thought the characters weren't behaving in a very realistic way, doing things that seemed inappropriate for the situation or stood out as odd to do at the time, but the overall plot and storytelling were good.
Note: Though this book was a free gift from the author, the content of my review was in no way influenced by the gifting. The book speaks for itself and my review would have been worded just this way even if I'd gone out and bought it. I also give bonus points for Text To Speech enabling on Kindle format.... but that also wasn't a factor in the above review.