Thursday, August 9, 2018

Bob by Wendy Maas and Rebecca Stead

Bob by Wendy Maas and Rebecca Stead
  • ASIN: B076B4RT7F - Paperback $16
  • Publisher: Feiwel & Friends (May 1, 2018), 224 pages.
  • Review copy courtesy of NetGalley.

The blurb:
It’s been five years since Livy and her family have visited Livy’s grandmother in Australia. Now that she’s back, Livy has the feeling she’s forgotten something really, really important about Gran’s house.
It turns out she’s right.
Bob, a short, greenish creature dressed in a chicken suit, didn’t forget Livy, or her promise. He’s been waiting five years for her to come back, hiding in a closet like she told him to. He can’t remember who—or what—he is, where he came from, or if he even has a family. But five years ago Livy promised she would help him find his way back home. Now it’s time to keep that promise.
Clue by clue, Livy and Bob will unravel the mystery of where Bob comes from, and discover the kind of magic that lasts forever.

I wasn't sure what to expect, but had enjoyed Wendy Maas's The Candymakers and Rebecca Stead's When You Reach Me.  Bob tells the story about the friendship between Livy and a magical creature.  

When Livy returns to Australia to spend time with her grandmother on her farm, it's a difficult time of transition.  Grandmother has suffered from a drought and the farm is close to bankruptcy.  The drought forced Grandmother to get rid of her horses and much of her animal stock and if it doesn't rain soon the farm's crops and animals won't be able to survive.  Livy's also been having a hard time with the birth of her younger sister.  With her parents seemingly focused entirely on her sister, Livy finds herself unable to sleep away from her parents. This separation anxiety has started to affect her own friendships as she no longer stays for sleepaways.  This stay with her grandmother will be a big change for Livy and her stomach has started to ache as she thinks about her mother and her baby sister leaving.

In the 5 years since Livy's visit, she's forgotten much about her stay with Grandmother.  Her favorite toys and things to do, etc. - but Livy discovers an old friend, Bob.  Bob is green, small, and dressed in a chicken suit that Livy made 5 years ago.  He's been waiting for her to return - 5 years much of it spent in Livy's closet playing chess by himself, reading the dictionary, crying and missing his friend.  

When Livy and Bob are reunited, it takes less than a day before their friendship comes back in full force. They try to solve the mystery of Bob's origins, but there is only so much a 10 year old girl and her magical friend can do.

Bob is a fun read - it celebrates friendship without being overly sentimental. There are moments of magic, humor and sadness.  It's the sort of book one can read to a child or they are likely to enjoy reading themselves. 

About the Authors:
Wendy Mass is the New York Times–bestselling author of The Candymakers series and many other novels for young readers, including the Schneider Family Book Award-winner A Mango-Shaped SpaceJeremy Fink and the Meaning of Life (which was made into a feature film), Every Soul a StarPi in the Sky, the Twice Upon a Time series, and the Willow Falls series that began with 11 Birthdays. She and her family live in New Jersey.

Rebecca Stead is the New York Times-bestselling author of When You Reach Mewinner of the Newbery Medal; Liar & SpyFirstLightand Goodbye Stranger. Her work has been also been awarded the Boston Globe/Horn Book Award for Fiction and the Guardian Children’s Fiction Award. She lives in New York City with her family and their lazy but beautiful cat.

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