Sunday, 28 November 2010

The Steps Across the Water

Finished November 27
The Steps Across the Water by Adam Gopnik
This children's novel is a fantasy book set partly in New York City, and partly in U Nork, an alternate city with deep connections to New York City. The main character is a young girl named Rose who lives with her parents and older brother in Manhattan. Rose often doesn't feel she fits in, and has problems making friends at her private school. She also has a speech impediment which causes her to mix up words (like calling New York, U Nork) and makes her self conscious. She is adopted from Russia, and while made aware of this by her parents, is never made to feel that it makes a difference to her place in her family. She does have one friend at school, Ethan, who is even more of an outcast than she is.
But one night everything changes, and she finds out that U Nork does exist and that she has a role to play in its future. With intrigue, puzzles, and lots of interesting characters, this book will engage the young reader in the story of the two cities.
I first read Gopnik's essay collection Through the Children's Gate, and loved it, so when I saw this book I knew I had to get it for my 10-year-old niece. She loves mysteries and puzzles and reading, so it is a perfect fit.

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