A book about a self-proclaimed book nerd and narrated by a magical book? Count me in. Books about books are either great or pretty meh. I am happy to report that this one is on the pretty great side of the spectrum. While it was a tad to comprehend where this book was going at the very beginning, it quickly came together and hooked me. Each of the characters also had something important to add to the story, so it was almost like peeling an onion.
*Note – Thank you to NetGalley and B&H Kids for a digital review copy of this book. All opinions are my own.
Many a story has been written about kids who are sent off to live with a curmudgeonly old family member that they have never met after their parents die. But Piper and Phoenix’s father isn’t officially dead, just missing, and Aunt Beryl of course has more to her odd ways. Piper is sort of the main character, after the book, and her brother, Phoenix, is her best friend and autistic. He doesn’t speak at all, but the two have formed a language that, of course, relates back to books. He might be a tad psychic as well.
When their mother dies in a car crash, the two are shipped off to an Aunt Beryl’s house where they feel like unwelcome intruders. The butler and housekeeper are kind, but their aunt ignores them and tells them areas that they have to stay away from. One of those areas is the library, which of course the kids can’t stay out of, especially when one of the books calls to them. Piper is especially upset when she overhears her aunt planning to get rid of all of the books and put up fakes.
The book that glows and calls to them is in fact our narrator. The Novus Fabula is a special book that helps the children get through this trying period of their lives. Piper and Mr. Greene, the butler, also talk a great deal about how books in general can help you get through difficult situations and the power that books have.
The Edge of Everywhen is a magical book about finding your story. Sometimes you need a little push to get through the hard parts of life, but faith, friendship, and family can help you get through. This is a very special middle grade novel.
One final note, I had not thought of this book as overtly religious until reading some of the other reviews. It is sort of like not feeling that The Lion, The Witch, and The Wardrobe was Christian until others told me that. There are moments when Mr. Greene talks about the “thin space” that is closer to God, but I let that go. So if you like that this is a good Christian values kind of thing, then great. If you are not Christian, know that it isn’t dogmatic and still a wonderful story.