Thursday, July 26, 2012

Heaven Eyes by David Almond

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Heaven Eyes 
by David Almond
233 pages
Library
Tween
2000


Book Jacket Summary
Erin Law and her friends are Damaged Children. At least that is the label given to them by Maureen, the woman who runs the orphanage that they live in. Damaged, Beyond Repair because they have no parents to take care of them. But Erin knows that if they care for each other they can put up with the psychologists, the social workers, the therapists -- at least most of the time. Sometimes there is nothing left but to run away, to run for freedom. And that is what Erin and two friends do, run away one night downriver on a raft. What they find on their journey is stranger than you can imagine, maybe, and you might not think it's true. But Erin will tell you it is all true. And the proof is a girl named Heaven Eyes, who sees through all the darkness in the world to the joy that lies beneath.

My Thoughts
A runaway plan takes Erin Law, Mouse Gullane, and January Carr down the river on a raft and into the surreal life of Heaven Eyes and her Grandfather Caretaker in the Black Middens.
The plot of running away may seem strange but to the children this is an everyday adventure. Someone is always running away for a day or two and coming back when the police find them or they get hungry. Jan wants to try something new and travel by raft down the river and to new places where they might be free. Erin joins him and Mouse is an unexpected nuisance to Jan. They escape but run into a bog where Heaven Eyes claims them as her brothers and sister. They are inducted into the family of Heaven Eyes and her demented caretaker. They off the food in the abandoned warehouses and snack on the chocolate boxes left behind. The Grandfather Caretaker is quite scary and intimidating because you never know if he will kill or harm the main characters. Heaven Eyes keeps him in check but there is an underlying threat to Erin, Jan, and Mouse. The children have no way of knowing when he will snap and when the buildings they are staying at will be torn down.
This is a strange book but it is so well told that you don't seem to notice when you are reading it. When I put down the book I had to shake my head and come back to the real world. I could almost make that Erin might not be the most reliable narrator but it is always plausible. Erin has moments when she talks to her dead mother but it is not a ghost, rather what Erin imagines her mother saying to her. Erin uses the objects that she has left, a lipstick and perfume to call up her mother and ask her advice.
   I am not sure exactly who I would recommended this one to because it is so surreal and odd. Teens or tweens looking for something completely different will be happy with this one. It was odd but good and I am interested in Almond's other works. I have seen that they are all a bit on the weird and unreliable side. That would make a strange week if I read them back to back.

Book Pairings
The Folk Keeper by Franny Billingsley




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3 comments:

  1. Sounds interesting....I'm sticking it in my Sunday mg sff round up, but is it actually fantasy???? Or is it one of those books that might be so, but isn't necessarily?

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    Replies
    1. It's not really fantasy but seems like it!

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  2. I haven't heard of this one- but it does sound unique!

    ~Jess
    http://thesecretdmsfilesoffairdaymorrow.blogspot.com/

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