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Kid Konnection: Chopsticks

October 1, 2011

Piano prodigy Glory is being raised by her widowed father.  He dreams of a musical career for her so he is quite upset when she becomes obsessed with the new boy next door.  Her father does what he can to distance the young couple, but it does nothing to abate Glory’s obsession.  Things eventually come to a head and she’s sent to a rest home from which she disappears.

Chopsticks by Jessica Anthony and Rodrigo Corral is one of the most unique books I’ve seen.  Told through photographs, report cards, ticket stubs, instant messages and, other visual media, the reader has to carefully study the pages to piece Glory’s story together.  I was fascinated with the story and eagerly came to the end and wasn’t sure I got it, so I immediately sent Sandy a text message.  She explained a couple of things and then I reread the book and it all fell into place for me.  By the way, Sandy and I sent quite a few text messages back and forth about the book, so I know there’s quite a bit to discuss in it.

The book is being marketed for grades 7 and up and I can’t help but wonder if they’ll understand it.  Of course, they might be quicker on the uptake than I am, or it might not bother them if they don’t understand all the subtleties of the book.  Chopsticks is a quick read, but don’t let the fact that there aren’t many words fool you into thinking it won’t require your undivided attention.  Check this book out when you’re in the mood for something different.

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 Penguin Books.  I am an Indiebound Affiliate.
19 Comments leave one →
  1. October 1, 2011 4:48 am

    I might have to ask Sandy too! Daniel’s reading it right now.

  2. Veens permalink
    October 1, 2011 5:57 am

    I think I will enjoy this very much. Sounds like a unique way to write a novel 🙂

  3. October 1, 2011 6:32 am

    That sounds such an intriguing format, I really enjoy books like that. I’ll have to keep an eye out for this one.

  4. October 1, 2011 6:37 am

    What a unique way to structure a book! I’ve read books that are in letter format, text-msg and e-mail format, but this sounds like steps beyond those…I can understand why you might have found it hard to piece together. I had a similar problem with 13 Rue Terese which told the story in part through images of letters and other memorabilia.

  5. October 1, 2011 7:49 am

    I love books told in this kind of way. There was another middle grade book I read – can’t recall the name right now – had something to do with Middle School and Meatloaf – LOL! Anyway, same sort of thing. I loved it. So unique. I’ll put this one on my list to get in the spring.

  6. October 1, 2011 8:41 am

    I bet I wouldn’t get it either!

  7. October 1, 2011 9:44 am

    I’ve never seen a book formatted quite like that. Very interesting!

  8. October 1, 2011 10:02 am

    Hey, I was scratching my head too and had to go back and ask the lady at Penguin about the ending. My daughter read it and had no idea what was going on. But I like that. I get frustrated with books that are dumbed down for its audience. This one makes you think, and demands re-reads to find the clues. Did you know that the youtube links in the book are real? Of course Emma checked them out.

  9. October 1, 2011 10:19 am

    This is one that I have been wanting to read ever since Sandy picked it up in the hotel and read it right through. I know about the ending, and I am wondering if having some idea of what happens changes the way I understand the book and what happens in it. This sounds like it would be a great read for Melissa as well. I wonder if she would totally get it.

  10. October 1, 2011 11:19 am

    Now you have me curious! I love books that are done differently, especially when they have very deep stories to tell. Like Shaun Tan’s books.

  11. October 1, 2011 11:42 am

    A few years a go I read a series that had the heroine sharing her diary, drawings and various pieces of the papers and a website that made one have to search for the clues. It was called Cathy’s Diary, the second in the series was Cathy’s Key. This sounds like the next step and very interesting.

  12. October 1, 2011 12:17 pm

    this sounds really good, will have to give it a read, just for the different format!

  13. October 1, 2011 5:03 pm

    Hm, would I get it then? Perhaps

  14. October 1, 2011 7:18 pm

    What a neat idea, but I’m pretty sure that Booking Daughter wouldn’t get it…..

  15. October 2, 2011 12:07 am

    You have me very curious about this book. Now I have to read it. When I first tried graphic novels I struggled with them. I’m guessing this is the same thing.

  16. October 2, 2011 12:28 am

    Waht a unique way too tell a story. I’m very curious now!

  17. Staci permalink
    October 2, 2011 5:23 pm

    I so want to check this one out! I love the use of the visual medium to tell a story and you’d be surprised at how fast those kids pick things up as long as it has nothing to do with homework!

  18. October 2, 2011 8:28 pm

    Oh … it sounds like an interesting book. Almost like a graphic novel but with real stuff. If I read it, I’ll have to get your and Sandy’s text numbers!

  19. October 3, 2011 8:29 pm

    Sounds like a scrap book of sorts where the reader is beckoned to peak inside her private thoughts with all these little elements that mean alot to her. Interesting concept.

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