Wednesday, October 7, 2009
New York : Alfred A. Knopf, 2009
It's 1966 and the Lyza's world is in turmoil. Her mother abandoned her family and left no way to keep in touch with her. Young men from her neighborhood are being drafted to fight in Vietnam and some of them are coming home in flag-draped coffins. Her older sister Denise is something of a wild child and hanging out with a questionable crowd. Their father spends every moment at his job teaching at the university. Lyza's best friend has a color of skin not widely accepted anywhere at this time. To top everything off, her grandfather passes away. While cleaning out his house, Lyza discovers an envelope addressed to her. It contains some unusual maps and a key. With the help of her friends Lyza embarks on a secret mission to complete her grandfather's project.
A unique mystery adventure involving ancient maps and lost pirate treasure. I did like the story but I have a big problem with the book overall. The text is written in a free-verse format. A lot of the paragraph breaks and sentences structures were confusing and distracting. Only by telling myself to ignore all breaks and read it as a regular novel was I able to finish this book. I worry that a struggling reader might be a little put-off by this format. Hopefully the characters and intrigue will be enough to keep them turning the pages.