Children’s Book Reviews
Children's Book Reviews: Thin Places
Publish March 5, 2018
An outsider at school with limited social skills, 16-year-old Declan Lynch finds solace in imaginary friends that tell him to do things. With an Irish heritage, Declan’s mother has also heard voices, but Declan’s father dismisses them as nonsense to be remedied with a stronger character. Things change when Declan begins to hear a female voice, one with an intimate knowledge of Declan’s thoughts and with visions of familiar places. Taking an opportunity to visit his Uncle Seamus in Ireland, Declan embarks on a quest to figure out if the voice is real, or if he is losing his mind.
Prolific YA author Lesley Choyce’s use of a free verse narrative lends an ethereal quality to a story that begins as a mystery. A ‘thin place’ is a location serving as a gateway between our world and a supernatural one, and Declan seems to be in this place. Declan begins to question his sanity with the arrival of the mystical female voice.
Thin Places is transformed as Declan tries to find the source of the voice in his head in the real world. What he discovers is steeped in Irish folklore, defying logical explanation and stretching the limits of belief.
Author Lesley Choyce introduces old world beliefs into the narrative, making the impossible, possible. Leaving the reader to decide what is real and what is not, Choyce delivers a vivid and fantastical tale, providing a modern connection to myth that has existed for centuries.
An avid promoter of Canadian teen fiction, Amy Mathers completed the Marathon of Books in 2014. The money she raised allowed the Canadian Children’s Book Centre to fund the Amy Mathers Teen Book Award. She also reviews for the Canadian Children’s Book News and writes a monthly article for the CCBC e-newsletter.
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