Thursday, March 17, 2011
Swamplandia! by Karen Russell
The cover looks just like a children's book but it is most decidedly not, even though the narrator is a 13 year old girl.
Ava Bigtree and her family live on a Florida island and have an alligator wrestling show. Her mother is the headliner. She dives into a pond filled with alligators night after night but after she dies of cancer everything falls apart. The tourists are flocking to a neighboring island with a glitzier show, her father disappears, her sister is obsessed with ghosts, and her brother defects to the glitzy show. It is up to Ava to get things back on track.
My 10 year old started reading this but after a few pages handed it to me to review because she had read several swear words in it. After promising to read it and putting it off for a few days, I finally sat down to read it the day before it was due. I thought that the story was interesting and probably would have let it go overdue except that the language became quite strong. I am still curious about how Ava managed but am going to just let it go. It received quite a few good reviews, many of which called it a dark book, but it is NOT for kids! Rated R for that word.