Monday, August 26, 2013

Review: The Boy who Swam With Piranhas - David Almond

The Boy who Swam with Piranhas
David Almond
Series: N/A
Genre: Children's, Fantasy
Rating: 5 out of 5 stars
Word Rating: Endearing
On Goodreads

I received this book as an ARC (BEA 2013) and thus had very little idea the extend to which I would be amazed. The ability of an author to capture the mind of a child is what makes children's books so bloody incredible, and David Almond eats this quality alive like a starved piranha.

Stanley Potts is an "ordinary kid living an ordinary life" until his Uncle Ernie turns the world upside down when he loses his job and ventures into the fish-canning business and very quirky, wonderful things happen. (Almond, 1) Also, some pretty not-wonderful things happen. The book is quite intricately woven with concepts and lessons that make one wonder how the author laced it into a children's book. This is definitely something I would have loved to read as a kid, but I believe I appreciate the intelligence and creative capacity behind making it so engaging for all ages.

The book reads rather scattered and colorful, just like a child's head usually is:
"A what?" said Ernie.

"A evistigator," said the investigator. "A evistigator what investigates things. Strange things. Peculiar things. Things that shouldn't even be things." He stepped a little closer. "Fishy things!" (29)
In the beginning, the world is rather black and white. Stanley's ordinary life is suddenly interrupted by the fact that more efficient ships could now be built in other countries. Very straightforward explanation. "It all started when Simpson's Shipyard shut." (2)

However, as the story progresses and we are all faced with harder-to-deal-with situations with splendid adventures to counter them, it becomes very apparent that life is not black and white, but as colorful as the fair he eventually escapes to. The explanation for his goldfishes death is not black and white, as he finds it, it's rather an intense shade of red that he has to face.

More so, Stanley faces forgiving those you love who have hurt you, what courage really is, and of course who to swim with piranhas. It's hard not to grow with Stanley, he's a charmer, and he feels the feels pretty darn hard. If you doubt me consult chapter twenty-two in its one page of glory and anger and suffering and you will understand what it means to feel homesick for a home that only exists in the past.

- Marlon

Do you think you would be able to run away like Stanley?
Let us know in the comments!

No comments:

Post a Comment