Loved it! It is meant for young readers (tweens and teens) but I thought it great and funny fanstasy. Could not put it down. My husband enjoyed it too!
Although described as a children's book, I enjoyed it. The protagonists are kids, but there are actual and fantastical adults (not all of whom are human), and the story is written with clear but not juvenile prose. The most "children's fiction" aspect of the book is that the themes do include growing up and the relationships between kids and their elders.
In his debut novel for young readers, Pulitzer Prize winner Chabon (The Adventures of Kavalier & Clay) hits a high-flying home run, creating a vivid fantasy where baseball is king. Following the death of his mother, 11-year-old Ethan Feld and his father, a designer of lighter-than-air-dirigibles move to Clam Island, Wash. The island is known for its almost constant rain, save for an area on its westernmost tip called Summerland by the locals which "knew a June, July and August that were perfectly dry and sunshiny." In Summerland, Ethan struggles to play baseball for the Ruth's Fluff and Fold Roosters, with dismal results. But here, too, a mystical baseball scout recruits Ethan and escorts him through a gateway to a series of interconnected worlds that are home to magical creatures called ferishers and an evil, shape-changing overlord called Coyote. Ethan and two of his fellow teammates soon accept a mission to save these other worlds (plus the one they live in) from ultimate destruction at Coyote's hand. When his father's well-being is also threatened, Ethan's quest becomes all the more urgent. To succeed, Ethan and his friends must find a way to beat giants, ferishers and others in a series of games where striking out truly has apocalyptic implications. Chabon unspools an elaborate yarn in a style that frequently crackles with color and surprise. He occasionally addresses readers directly, imbuing his tale with the aura of something that has been passed down through the ages. Impressively, the author takes a contemporary smalltown setting and weaves in baseball history, folklore and environmental themes, to both challenge and entertain readers. Images of the icy Winterlands and beasts like the werefox and Taffy the motherly Sasquatch recall C.S. Lewis's Narnia and some of Philip Pullman's creations in His Dark Materials. Devotees of the genre and of America's pastime will find much to cheer here. All ages.
I really enjoyed this book, even as an adult in my twenties. I loved the faraway fantasy worlds and different characters and creatures. Good book for tweens about finding themselves, doing what's right and fighting for what you believe in and who you love.
and I had a really hard time getting into it, I even tried listening to the audio and couldn't get interested (neither was my 9 year old) I really want to give the book a chance but I doubt I'll pick it back up again. To me it's just a really strange book that's a bit too bizarre to follow...