The Ever Breath by Julianna Baggott
This is Baggott's second middle grade fantasy novel this year. The first one was The Prince of Fenway Park. It was my Cybils nod for MG fantasy category. I loved it, so much so that when I heard the author had another book coming out, the only question was when I would read it and the sooner the better.
I had high hopes for The Ever Breath, I was not dissappointed. Its a wonderful adventure story. Truman Cragmeal and his twin sister, Camille are going to meet their grandmother, Swelda for the first time. Their mother is driving them to Swelda's house. They thought the house had a great view of a golf course but its actually on the seventeenth hole. When house is located on a golf course, something strange is going on.
One of the things I loved about this tale, it got to the adventure quickly. Though first author establishes the personalities (read the first chapter) of Truman and Camille. They are both very likeable making it hard not to want to follow them on an adventure.
Swelda sit the twins down for a tasting tale, a family tradition. She telling them, the Cragmeal history, where their dad is, and what need to do to help save two worlds.
The Fixed World is the world they live in, The Breath World is other one. A stone called the Ever Breath is the balance between the two worlds and it was stolen. Without the Ever Breath there will be no more imagination and dreaming in the Fixed World. The Breath World would be overcome with too much magic. Evil magical beast would rise up and take over. Swelda gives Truman and Camille, each a family globe. The globes allow them to see the past, present or future in the Breath World.
In the Breath World the chapters alternate between the twins. A mouse named Binderbee Biggby gets a chapter all to himself. Baggott quickly establishes the politics and the animals of The Breath World, making it easy for readers to follow.
The Office of Official Affairs controls everything, with an Us vs Them mentality. Mice have always been looked downed on. Now, mice have been given a chance to prove themselves as spies. When Biggby reads an intercepted letter he begins to questions who is Us and who is them.
Biggby eventually meets up with the twins, with an Ogre who is also ready to help. The Twins with their small group of friends must go into the Dark heart of the Breath World, to retrieve the Ever Breath and save their dad.
The Ever Breath is a wonderful adventure story with scary cringe worthy moments. Baggott allows the reader to see the world she's created. For the most part its no more than six pages per chapter making it a great choice for young fantasy fans. 8up
Read the first chapter