Friday, March 14, 2014

ParaNorman by Elizabeth Cody Kimmel

I got a copy of ParaNorman  from our local library for my son who is nine.  I am trying to get him to branch out if his comfort reading zone.  He is obsessed with the Rick Riordan series and their mythology.  I thought ParaNorman (we love the movie) might draw him in but so far no go.  I did take the time to read it just to see if the movie and book both stand on their own.

In a quaint New England town with a history of witches and pilgrims, misunderstood eleven-year-old Norman Babcock can see and talk to ghosts. No one believes him, of course-everyone just thinks he's weird (including his parents). But when a folktale of a witch who cursed her accusers turns out to be true, it's up to Norman to save the town from pilgrim zombies! In addition to the zombies, he'll have to take on a very angry witch, an annoying sidekick, his boy-crazy teenage sister, and dozens of moronic grown-ups who get in his way. This young ghoul whisperer finds his paranormal talents pushed to their otherworldly limits in this hilarious and spooky adventure!

Featuring gorgeous black-and-white interior illustrations and a story beyond what you'll see in the film, this novel is sure to delight!

This book is just as amazing as the movie. The movie follows the book very closely but there are some differences between the two. I love the idea of the boy who can see and talk to ghosts. Norman has found his own way through the weird life that he leads. He feels out of place in his family and at school but he has some friends. His mother loves him as he is but his dad struggles to do the same. I love the idea of his grandma coming back to watch over him. Plus the grandma is a sassy and sweet lady. I also liked that the story is really a subtle way of reminding us all of how bad bullying can really be and that people in a mob are something to be feared. The witch trials and witch hunts that plagued colonial times and even earlier in other countries were a way for citizens to single out for abuse and ridicule. It was extremely violent bullying. Aggie Prenderghast is a little girl with a great gift that people fear and it causes them to kill her. That's as sad a story as you can hear. I highly recommend ParaNorman to everyone!

You can add it to your Goodreads here.  You can find out more about author Elizabeth Coday Kimmel on her website.  I give ParaNorman 4 Fairies for a super fun book for any pre-teen to read.

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