I got this book to read to the boys. I had heard a lot of good things about it. But since the book we are reading now is a bit old for them (The Amazing Maurice and His Educated Rodents- very good) I will probably not read it with them now.
OK, now a week after I wrote the above sentence. We are going to Salt Lake for Thanksgiving and I got the CD version to listen to in the car. We will see how it goes.
I liked this book a lot. It is a subtly LDS book. It was published by Shadow Mountain, which is an imprint of Deseret Book, but there are no LDS references in it. But it has themes and attitudes in it that are very LDS.
Instead of God there is reference to "fate. Which I think is sort of weaselly but a common thing when trying to adjust a book for the mass market. But the attitudes about trials and suffering and why you are placed on the earth and what being alive is for all dovetail nicely with LDS doctrine. David thought I was reading things into the book, but so what if I felt that some things were uplifting then they were. Author intent doesn't really matter in a case like that.
I don't know if this is a nationwide book or not, so someone that lives away from Utah, leave a comment and let me know if you find out.
Harry Potter has really help the cause of good YA literature. As someone on a newsgroup that I read occasionally pointed out, YA fiction is where the really interesting things are happening in fiction right now. I think a lot of books like this one would not have been published if it weren't for Harry Potter. There are some that maybe shouldn't have been anyway, but on the whole it is a good influence I think.
Leven Thumps and the Gateway to Foo. Obert Skye. Shadow Mountain. 2005