Far Far Away
McNeal, Tom. Far Far Away. NY: Random House/Ember, c2013. 369 pages. A National Book Award Finalist.
Booklist gave this book a starred review and described it as "A masterful story of outcasts, the power of faith, and the triumph of good over evil."
Jeremy Johnson Johnson is a quiet, practical boy, worried about his father who is dysfunctional due to the disappearance of Jeremy's mother. About to lose their home and business for lack of payments on the loan, Jeremy is trying as hard as he can to earn money.
When a copper-haired girl (Ginger) takes a bite of a Prince Cake (rumored to cause the biter to fall in love with the first person they meet) and sees Jeremy, a chain of events begins, and the events are not all good. Jeremy has long been able to hear the voice of Jacob Grimm (yes the fairy tale guy) who is trying to complete a mysterious task in order to "pass over." Jeremy (and Jacob by default) get involved in the disappearance of kids from the town of Never Better where Jeremy lives. The solution to that mystery is completed only after Jeremy and Ginger face grave danger.
Part mystery, part romance, part fairy tale, this is a shivery good read.
Recommended for junior high and above. Review by Mrs. Belknap