What follows is a booktalk for a title on our Mock Printz shortlist. We hope you’ll be able to join us at the event where our winner will be chosen! This booktalk was written by Lisa Elliott of Tigard Public Library.
There’s always a catch with Colt’s father Rex. The kids in his new neighborhood are totally charmed by Rex’s easy manner and generosity, but Colt is not fooled. When he and his family moved to this working class neighborhood, it was clear they did not quite fit in, but Rex launched a campaign to win everybody over by sharing the products of their wealth. The toys, the bikes, the backyard pool. Always the best that money can buy. All are invited to partake, but Colt suspects the point is not to ensure that he and his brother Bastain have friends, but rather that they are envied.
Freya, a sophisticated 12-year-old, has begun to notice that the adults in her life are less than perfect. She says that growing up is like learning you live in a castle and finding yourself in unfamiliar, often ominous rooms as you walk along. Like an unraveling of faith. Rex becomes her confidant, as she refuses to keep silent about her abusive father, her large family’s struggles, and her suspicion that there’s another sibling on the way.
Freya and Colt are both thoughtful young people in pain. Their observations are cutting, but their decisions about where to place their trust, not always wise. The tension in this literary novel builds to a crescendo as Colt and Freya’s families meet, mingle, and clash.