Review: Between Two Ends by David Ward
Things haven't been great between Yeats's parents. His mother tries to be patient with his father's moods and the family frequently moves to try and help the situation. Nothing is working. Yeats knows, even as a pre-teen, that his parents are headed for a split. He just wishes there was something, ANYTHING, he could do to break his father's gloom once and for all.
Yeats and fam arrive at his Gran's house as a last ditch effort to save their family. The house seems an odd choice, however, given that the whole place has a creepy vibe and is home to an ageless cat named Odysseus. Upon investigating his surroundings, Yeats discovers the core of his father's sadness is within the pages of a book and finds there just might be a way he can set things right for everyone. He will have to be brave, he will have to be clever, and he will have to survive by entering a The Arabian Nights and saving a girl all by himself.
Between Two Ends by David Ward is one of those reads that gives many nods to other classic works of literature. I loved that! Grandma makes reference to The Hobbit, Yeats is named after a poet so of course we get all sorts of poetry dropped on us, and the brave adventure Yeats must undertake is to save a girl from within the pages of The Arabian Nights. All of the literature shout-outs definitely made my bookish heart go pitter-pat!
I will always and forever have a soft spot for middle grade books. There is something that is unabashedly hopeful and whimsical and fun about them that I can't resist. Between Two Ends is no different! Sure, we all know how it ends. But it is the journey that we want anyway! We want to see how it is Yeats saves the girl, how he remains brave in a foreign land all by himself, and we want to see the love and commitment for his family in his heart.
For a light middle grade fantasy with literary shout outs and a shot of silly characters to keep you entertained, read Between Two Ends by David Ward.
Fave quote: "A plan?" Mr. Sutcliff raised an eyebrow. "Well, we are in a story. Something will present itself. Have you forgotten? We will have action. There is no story unless things happen." (217-218)
Fix er up: I worry about the message that Yeats is able to cure his father's depression and that it minimizes the disease. I don't think that's what the author is trying to do, but I could definitely see that message being portrayed anyway.
Title: Between Two Ends
Author: David Ward
Genre: Middle Grade, Fantasy
Pub Info: May 2011, Abrams
[FTC Notice: I received a copy of this book for review from the publisher. I was not compensated in any way for this review. Thanks again, Laura!]
Lisa is a gamer, crafter, fangirl, mother, wife and unabashed nerd who is pretty ridiculous and it's best you know that up front. When she's not binge watching Netflix or crafting into the wee hours of the night, you can find her spending a lot of her time on Pinterest and Twitter.