|Worlds we leave behind
Author: Harrold, A. F.
After an accident in the woods involving a young girl, eleven-year-old Hex meets a mysterious woman who offers him a deal to change his world, which sets off a ripple effect that Hex's best friend Tommo must rectify.
|Accelerated Reader Information:
Interest Level: MG
Reading Level: 5.00
Points: 6.0 Quiz: 519730
Kirkus Reviews (01/01/23)
School Library Journal (+) (01/01/23)
Booklist (+) (02/15/23)
The Bulletin of the Center for Children's Books (00/03/23)
The Hornbook (00/05/23)
Full Text Reviews:
School Library Journal - 01/01/2023 Gr 5 Up— It wasn't Hex's fault the little girl followed him and his best friend Tommo into the woods and got herself hurt. Yes, he did throw the rock (Why did he do that? He doesn't know, just like he doesn't know why he does many things), but he doesn't deserve the scorn of his best friend or being attacked by the girl's sister. Just as the injustice of everything overwhelms him, Hex finds himself at a mysterious cottage where an old woman kindly offers him a chance at revenge. He can make the girl who did this to him disappear, erase her from ever existing. But what if Hex isn't the only one who has been given this offer? This delightfully creepy tale weaves the perfect mix of horror with honesty about the struggles of being human and growing up. Everyone makes mistakes, but what are the costs of purposely choosing to wrong another human being? Set in England, there are a several English references sprinkled throughout. Pinfold's stunning black-and-white illustrations bring the characters and settings frighteningly to life throughout each chapter. VERDICT Harrold delivers a world as eerie as it is true, as uplifting as it is intense in a triumph of storytelling. Recommended for purchase in all libraries serving patrons who seek complex tales about growing up.—Emily Beasley - Copyright 2023 Publishers Weekly, Library Journal and/or School Library Journal used with permission.
Booklist - 02/15/2023 *Starred Review* Literal otherworldliness is a hallmark of Harrold’s works, and in this novel, it takes the form of an old woman (Missus), her huge dog (Leafy), and their cabin in a thin strip of woods. Elsewhere in the woods, three kids are playing on an old rope swing. The two boys, Hex and Tommo, are inseparable, and they’re both annoyed when little-kid Sasha invites herself along to the swing. A trickle of meanness enters Hex as Sasha takes her turn, prompting him to throw a stone that knocks the girl into the rocky creek bed below with a painful crunch. This is the key event that brings Missus and Leafy into the lives of Hex, Tommo, and Sasha’s furious older sister, Maria. They find the old woman in different ways and at different points in time, but to each she makes the same offer: she and Leafy can give them justice or revenge by snipping a problematic person out of the world, erasing their entire existence. Harrold’s narrative spans only five days and packs a philosophical punch as the characters ponder the consequences of their choices. Still, there’s plenty of action, and the sinister atmosphere gets a fantastic visual boost from Pinfold’s realistic, grayscale illustrations, which creep along page borders and occasionally fill consecutive spreads. Taken together, it’s haunting stuff. An impeccably crafted, cerebral fantasy. - Copyright 2023 Booklist.