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Welcome!! My name is Paul Lappen. I am in my early 50s, single, and live in Connecticut USA. This blog will consist of book reviews, written by me, on a wide variety of subjects. I specialize, as much as possible, in small press and self-published books, to give them whatever tiny bit of publicity help that I can. Other than that, I am willing to review nearly any genre, except poetry, romance, elementary-school children's books and (really bloody) horror.

I have another 800 reviews at my archive blog: http://www.deadtreesreviewarchive.blogspot.com (please visit).

I post my reviews to:

booklore.co.uk
midwestbookreview.com
2 yahoo groups
Amazon and B&N (of course)
Librarything.com
Goodreads.com
Bookwormr.com
Books-a-million.com
Reviewcentre.com
Onlinebookclub.org
Pinterest.com
and on Twitter
(seriously)

I am always looking for more places to post my reviews.

Friday, October 5, 2012

The Cellar Door

The Cellar Door, Brett Gadbois, Belltown Press, 2010

This is the tale of a young boy and his amazing adventures.

Sam Bixby is your average nine-year-old. His parents have been divorced for most of his life. The concern and uncertainty that comes with divorced parents comes back to Sam when Mom asks him to live with her in California. Sam and Dad live near Seattle. On a camping trip to northern Minnesota with Dad, Sam explores an abandoned farmhouse (the kind that children should not explore alone). He falls, and hits his head, and he wakes up in a very strange land.

An elderly human sage teaches Sam the ability to change into whatever he wants (bird, animal, etc.) simply by thinking about it. Sam meets a talking squirrel who is searching for his father. Squirrel Dad has been on the run for a number of years because of a botched robbery. Sam meets talking blueberries who are proud of their color, and streams of water that give Sam fits of laughter even on the worst days. Through it all, no one knows just how Sam can get home, but they suggest that a magic pool of water in a nearby city is the place to start.

Sam also meets several human/animal hybrids, including a pair with human bodies and the heads of crows. They really want the secret to Sam's transformation ability. While Sam is a bird, they trap him inside a bird cage until he gives up the secret. Will Sam spend the rest of his life as a bird? Will he ever be reunited with his father?

This book is made to be read to children, perhaps as a multi-part bedtime story. It's nice and weird, and many children can identify with Sam. The reader will not go wrong with this one.

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