Lucretia and the Kroons by Victor LaValle
My rating: 4 of 5 stars
Lucretia’s best friend and upstairs neighbor Sunny—a sweet pitbull of a kid, even as she struggles with a mysterious illness—has gone missing. The only way to get her back is for Lucretia to climb the rickety fire escape of their Queens tenement and crawl through the window of apartment 6D, portal to a vast shadowland of missing kids ruled by a nightmarish family of mutants whose designs on the children are unknown. Her search for Sunny takes Lucretia through a dark fantasyland where she finds lush forests growing from concrete, pigeon-winged rodents, and haunted playgrounds. Her quest ultimately forces her to confront the most frightening specter of all: losing, forever, the thing you love the most.
I'll start off by saying this is not the type of book that I normally read. However I'm trying to work through some of my collection and this was next up. The story begins with a 12th birthday party for Lucretia. The author of this novella draws you in quickly and sets up the rest of the story. Even though I'm MUCH older, I felt I could connect with Lucretia and some of the emotions she was experiencing. The supporting characters were well developed, Mom, Sunny, the three popular girls, Louis and of course the Kroons. They really contributed to the story, made it flow very nicely. As Lucretia goes on her adventure, the author really kept me interested wondering what or who she would encounter next. I couldn't put the story down! Every free minute I was picking this book up to see what happened next. As a deeper thought, this really brought home the fact that a child's life is not always sunshine and roses. I think Lucretia's adventure was representative of the emotions and escapes that children use when faced with difficulties especially death. I though the author did a great job with this book from the horror/fantasy perspective.
From A Christian Perspective
I think this book had a message although it was somewhat hard to find. While Alice was different and strange, in the end Loochie learned to love her as a friend. I think it's important for children to recognize that it's ok to love those who are different from them. Also, Loochie had to make a choice between life and death. She recognized the value of her life and chose to live. So many are faced with this decision and make a different choice. So while this book was NOT a Christian book, you can find some redeeming messages within.
Love and Blessings!
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