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Kid Konnection: Between the Lines

May 26, 2012

Delilah is a social outcast at her high school.  She can’t afford the latest fashion and always has her nose stuck in a book.  To make matter worse, she accidentally broke the knee of the most popular girl in school.

Delilah discovers an old hand-illustrated fairy tale in her school library and she becomes obsessed with the book and its hero, Oliver.  She can’t let anyone know what this book for elementary school kids means to her, but she reads it so much her mother is beginning to get concerned.   One day, Delilah notices that an illustration in the book is slightly different than usual and is shocked to discover she can actually speak to Oliver.

While Delilah can’t get Oliver off of her mind, all he can think about is getting out of the pages of the book.  The two of them try to figure out a way to be together.

Jodi Picoult and her daughter, Samantha Van Leer, wrote every sentence of Between the Lines together.  At times it was a painstaking process, but it was worth it, because I found the book to be utterly charming.  I admit to having my doubts the first few pages, but it didn’t take long for this book to win me over.

Delilah is a fantastic character and many young readers will be able to relate to her social awkwardness.  Delilah misses her father and tries to do her best to help her mother.  She uses books as an escape from the reality of her life.

The story alternates between Delilah’s and Oliver’s points of view.  Readers discover that the characters in the book are just playing a role and their reality is quite different.  I rarely read fantasy, but found it rather fun to peek into the imaginary world of the characters.  Most of the characters are satisfied with their lot in life but Oliver is not.  He and Delilah come up with several schemes to try to get him out of the story so they can be together but it seems that none of them will work.

I read a galley of Between the Lines and the artwork was not final, but the sketches that were included are fabulous, so I suspect the finished copy is gorgeous.  This is a great book for young YA readers on up – it’s light on the romance and there’s no language or sexual situations.  You’ll want to check this one out – it’s creative and fun and visually appealing.

For more children’s books reviews, go to Booking Mama’s feature, Kid Konnection. If you’d like to participate in Kid Konnection and share a post about anything related to children’s books (picture, middle grade, or young adult) from the past week, leave a comment as well as a link on her site.

Review copy provided by Simon & Schuster.  I am an Indiebound Affiliate.
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17 Comments leave one →
  1. May 26, 2012 6:32 am

    Wow, nice post! I’m definitely going to check this out. Sounds amazing. I love Jodi Picoult’s books.

  2. May 26, 2012 6:58 am

    It’s too bad that even for a book filled with artwork and about a social outcast the publisher chose to use a photograph of a pretty white girl on the cover. This is a pet peeve of mine. It sounds like a fun book, though.

  3. kaye permalink
    May 26, 2012 8:37 am

    This does sound different from the usual Picoult. Glad you enjoyed it . Have a nice weekend.

  4. May 26, 2012 9:01 am

    This sounds like the kind of book I would like!

  5. May 26, 2012 10:18 am

    I had no idea this was a younger read. I must check it out.

  6. May 26, 2012 11:25 am

    I preordered this one, because the idea of Jodi and her daughter writing a book together intrigued me. I was pleasantly surprised to read that there are colorful illustrations…looking forward to it, and I enjoyed your review.

  7. Staci@LifeintheThumb permalink
    May 26, 2012 5:59 pm

    I read about this a while back and wondered how it would turn out. Sounds like one that I might like. I just picked up Picoult’s latest on audio and I’m hoping to love it!

  8. May 26, 2012 6:25 pm

    I’m not really a fan of Picoult, but this does sound good. I think I’m going to look for it.

  9. May 28, 2012 12:52 am

    I love that she wrote this with her daughter. What a bonding experience!

  10. May 28, 2012 1:57 am

    Oooooh, have to be honest I can’t read Jodi Picoult, the stories always make me cry :(

  11. bookingmama permalink
    May 28, 2012 8:58 am

    I’ve been wondering about this one and I am totally amazed by the collaborative process. Thanks for sharing.

  12. zibilee permalink
    May 28, 2012 2:15 pm

    I think this book would be a perfect fit for so many young readers. You have no idea just how many of them are awkward and unsure, much like Delilah seems to be. Great post today. I don’t usually read Picoult’s books, but I might have to give this one a try!

  13. May 28, 2012 3:22 pm

    This book looks intriguing, and very stimulating for the imagination. I most certainly want to read this one! Thank you for the review!

  14. bethbookaholicmom permalink
    May 28, 2012 6:42 pm

    I have been curious about this book. I think I will have to put it on my wish list.

  15. May 29, 2012 8:31 pm

    I was curious about this one and reading your review, I think I will give it a try. It is refreshing sometimes to read a lighter YA novel!

  16. boardinginmyforties permalink
    June 23, 2012 6:06 pm

    That is so cool that they wrote the book together!

  17. September 4, 2012 11:53 am

    Kathy, I don’t know how I missed this review but I’m “catching up” now! This sounds like a fabulous collaboration!

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