Christopher Paul Curtis (author) states on the back jacket of this book, "This is a beautifully crafted story...it has mystery, adventure, and a powerful sense of hope and heart. A masterpiece." No one can review this book any better than that! I am not one who reads all kinds of things, especially not fantasy. Nor do I choose books just by "top" reviewers. Also, I had just finished a story that moved me beyond anything I had ever read before. So, I was determined to try this thinking that I would be safe from all of that...WRONG. This story is very moving, very real-to-life with fantasy swirling all around you. For those that reviewed it as being confusing...give it another shot because you will figure it all out...just keep reading. That's what great challenging books do...they make you embrace every fiber of your being. This is now one of my favorite books.