Saturday, June 6, 2009

What the Dickens

Maguire, Gregory. What the Dickens: The Story of a Rogue Tooth Fairy. Somerville, Mass.: Candlewick Press, 2009.
[Book cover credit:]

On a dark and stormy night. Wait. Do over. On a very dark night with no power because of a possible hurricane (much better), Dinah settles down to listen to her cousin, Gage, tell a story. While she feels isolated in her house with only her brother, sister, and cousin for company during the storm, she hears the story of What-the Dickens, a hyphenated name much like Winnie-the-Pooh, who was hatched alone in a tuna can after a storm, much like the one Dinah is trying to forget is happening now, instead of in a pile of 80 or 90 of his siblings. Dinah and her family fear the storm raging outside and the lack of food within, all while worrying about Dinah's parents who are out in the storm somewhere. What-the-Dickens' story is either a fairytale, a distraction, or a silly waste of time, as Dinah's brother says, but when What-the-Dickens finally finds others like him and is STILL all alone, and in danger to boot, things get interesting, both in the story and in the windswept house.

Having read many of Maguire's books for adults, I was assuming this would be a twist on a story I knew, not that I really know any stories about the tooth fairy, and I thought it would be a dark one at that. Instead it is a light, whimsical tale that is completely new, just with names that I already knew. It's a nice break from all of the issue fiction and paranormal teenagers that I've been reading about lately, and I didn't even know that I needed a break. No heavy thinking involved. Just a really good story.

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