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|Bottle imp of Bright House|
Author: Llewellyn, Tom
Thirteen-year-old Gabe buys a bottle bearing an imp that will grant his every wish, but someone else will pay the price and, if he dies while owning the bottle, he will lose his soul.
Kirkus Reviews (08/15/18)
School Library Journal (09/01/18)
The Bulletin of the Center for Children's Books (00/10/18)
Full Text Reviews:
School Library Journal - 09/01/2018 Gr 4–6—Llewellyn's middle grade novel set in "Bright House," an apartment building in Tacoma, WA, is a modern retelling of the original gothic tale, The Bottle Imp by Robert Louis Stevenson. In a Faustian bargain with a twist, seventh grader Gabe becomes the owner of a wish-granting bottle imp. He promptly wishes for pizza, a giant sub sandwich, a hot tub, and a Ferrari, but there are consequences for his wishes. Llewellyn skates the line between humor and horror, allowing readers to vicariously experience the highs and lows of Gabe's fortune. The accompanying illustrations capture the juxtaposition of the dark story with the light, comical approach of tween-aged Gabe and his friends, Henry and Joanna. Deliciously grotesque characters include the landlord of the apartment building, Mrs. Appleyard; Gabe's wealthy hoarder neighbors; and artist Hashimoto, among others, each of whom is distinct. VERDICT A recommended secondary purchase for medium and large middle grade collections. Fans of Roald Dahl's James and the Giant Peach or Louis Sachar's Sideways Stories From Wayside School will appreciate Llewellyn's morbid sense of humor.—Eva Thaler-Sroussi, Needham Free Public Library, MA - Copyright 2018 Publishers Weekly, Library Journal and/or School Library Journal used with permission.
Booklist - 10/15/2018 Gather your Dahl and Snicket fans. Llewellyn’s tale of the price of wishes and dealing with the Devil will please them to no end, and it may even prick a few consciences. Gabe Silver is bummed about moving into Bright House, a dumpy apartment building full of odd folks, but since his father lost his job, it’s all their family can afford. Almost impossibly, a trip to the cheese shop alters Gabe’s fate when a man sells Gabe a wish-granting bottle. Naturally, there are a few caveats, the biggest being that if you die with the bottle in your possession, the Devil gets your soul. Skeptical but eager to change his family’s fortune, Gabe makes a few wishes but quickly learns this magic comes with dangerous consequences. Llewellyn writes with an edge and with heart, and Grimly’s loose ink-and-watercolor illustrations have a whimsical creepiness that matches the tone perfectly. With a narrative directly addressing the reader, this cautionary tale feels intimate and the stakes all the higher. Satisfyingly off-kilter for those who find Aladdin too bubblegum. - Copyright 2018 Booklist.