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Saturday, January 4, 2014

An old friend?: Juniper Berry by M.P. Kozlowsky

Hi guys and gals!
Welcome back to the site that’s an equal opportunity platform for books both forthcoming and as well known as old friends…Satisfaction for Insatiable Readers.

Today, we’re flashing back to a title that released back in 2011 and even stopped by on a tour with a special post from the author himself.  Why are we getting reacquainted then?  Well, I noticed when perusing my books-that-still-need-reviewing stack, this one managed to slip through the cracks.  GASP!  SHOCK!  AWE!  Needless to say, I couldn’t very well let THAT happen…after all I DID in fact read it and enjoyed it VERY much indeed.  So, ready to meet an old friend of mine that should be a MUST READ acquaintance of yours?  Let’s!  Today’s book of choice is…

M.P. Kozlowsky
Walden Pond Press

About the book…
Be careful what you wish for.
Life for young Juniper is a series of contradictions.  She is the daughter of the world’s most famous film stars, and yet she is alone.  She lives on a palatial estate, but she feels completely trapped.  And even though she is closer to her mother and father than anyone, she couldn’t feel more distant from them.  In fact, Mr. and Mrs. Berry have been cold and disinterested and cruel, not at all themselves lately.  And lonely, imprisoned Juniper and her equally beset friend, Giles, are determined to find out why.
On a cold and rainy night, she follows her parents as they sneak out of the house and enter the woods.  What she discovers is an underworld also filled with contradictions: one that is terrifying and enticing, lorded over by a creature both sinister and seductive, who can sell you all the world’s secrets in a simple red balloon.  For the first time, Juniper and Giles have a choice to make.  And it will be up to them to confront their own fears in order to save the ones who couldn’t.

This is one book that packs an uber creepy punch.  I mean by the time you get to the creature doling out red balloons (be afraid, be very afraid!), you’ve already been exposed to unusual instances, unexpected occurrences, strange individuals and a black crow that just…~shudders~.  Don’t worry friends, Juniper Berry is one strong gal and her little friend Giles isn’t so far off that track either even if outward appearances have them appearing less than able to handle all that’s set before them.  The path ahead is dark and littered with all the wreckage life can throw at us, even for these young ones, but it’s also filled with hope and the promise of everything turning out alright in the end.  If I were you, I’d stick close to them; you may learn a thing or two about friendship, the bonds of family, and the world at large. 

Surprised all of that could come from a Children’s Fiction book?  I wasn’t but then again, I love taking an adventure through the kid lit pages almost any chance I can get.  Too often the books in this genre get discounted by readers outside of the targeted audience…I beg of you, DON’T BE ONE OF THEM.  There are too many fantastic journeys to be had to turn your nose up simply because you’re not actually “Middle Grade” age.

In conclusion, a great Middle Grade read for those that aren’t afraid of the dark with characters that will stick with you well past the turning of the last page.  It reminds us to be careful what we wish for, consider the other side of the story before making judgments, and above all else…avoid strangers offering you the world on a string; no matter HOW shiny and bright the balloon may be.  *-* 

ARC for review courtesy of Walden Pond Press, an imprint of HarperCollins Publishers.  (THANKS!)  For more information on this title as well as their ever growing catalog of wonders, be sure to stop by their site, friend them on Facebook or follow along on Twitter.

Until next time…happy reading!


Juju at Tales of said...

Ooooooooo you've made me want this one more. Great review.

Dena BooksforKids said...

Such a good book! Glad you liked it.

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