Bob by Wendy Mass & Rebecca Stead | SLJ Review

Gr 3-6 –Five years ago, Livy left her friend Bob, who she describes as a zombielike creature, in the closet of her grandmother’s house in Australia without saying goodbye.

redstarMASS, Wendy & Rebecca Stead. Bob. illus. by Nicholas Gannon. 208p. Feiwel & Friends. May 2018. Tr $16.99. ISBN 9781250166623. POP

Gr 3-6 –Five years ago, Livy left her friend Bob, who she describes as a zombielike creature, in the closet of her grandmother’s house in Australia without saying goodbye. Bob has loyally awaited Livy’s return, dressed in the chicken suit she made to disguise him, and hopeful about the promise she made to help him find his way home, wherever that may be. As Livy gradually eases back into the rekindled friendship, vague memories return to her that could lead to the discovery of Bob’s home. Livy’s separation anxiety about her mother’s upcoming trip with friends and the drought in her grandmother’s town round out the story for a full plot line. Mass and Stead’s brilliant collaboration has produced a beautiful tale of friendship, love, and the magic of childhood. Livy and Bob’s points of view alternate chapters, and each character’s personality is wonderfully realized with subtle nuances of emotion and humor. A perfectly paced plot, supported by secondary characters to whom readers will relate and luminous artwork by Gannon, fill out a story that readers will eagerly embrace. VERDICT A must-have for libraries serving middle grade readers, this novel delights.–Amy ­McInerney, Falmouth Elementary School, ME

This review was published in the School Library Journal April 2018 issue.

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