Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Review: Dolls by Michael Hiebert --- So NOT Barbie!

Dolls, by Michael Hiebert, is an imaginative take on adolescence. What we get in this well-crafted novel is a modern fable of growing up, responsibility and letting go of past anger.  It is a young teen learning the adult lesson that people and things are not always what they appear to be.
Mr. Hiebert, is not a novice to writing, having crafted many other works before Dolls.  His writing style is crisp and smooth. His editing near flawless.  There is a reason he was recently signed by Kensington. And while I have not read YA since my children were in that mode, I read and thoroughly enjoyed Dolls. He writes the adolescent female voice so well I thought he was a pseudonym, at first.  Having spoken to Mr. Hiebert, I can vouch that he is not a teenager masquerading as a grown man.
Author Synopsis

Kite Morgan's in sixth grade when she has her first fight. It's with a girl named Carla Bell, and Kite loses. She comes home and creates a paper doll resembling Carla and, in a fit of fury, runs the doll over with her little brother's Tonka truck.

Outside, sirens wail as emergency vehicles race past Kite's house.

Kite finds the real Carla Bell a half mile up the road, lying beneath the wheels of a real truck, looking exactly like the doll had on her dining room table. Comatose, Carla is taken to hospital.

Kite thinks it's more than a mere coincidence. Soon her theories are validated, launching her on an emotional rocket ship ride as she fully realizes the implications of possessing so much power and the responsibility that goes along with it.

Kite finds out the hard way, though, responsibility isn't all it's cracked up to be.

At 173 pages, this novel is a perfect length for middle school classrooms everywhere. As a former teacher, I would recommend it be considered for summer reading lists, so that students and parents can both read it.
This is an excellent work and I give it 5 Triskeles.

Michael Hiebert is an award-winning author of novels and short stories. His latest novel, Dream With Little Angels is being published by Kensington Books and should be on shelves in the spring of 2013.
He lives in the Lower Mainland of British Columbia, Canada, where it's cold and wet in the winter and warm (and sometimes also wet) in the summer. There are cougars, and bears and deer. He has a dog named Chloe, three kids, and enough books that it became no fun to move quite a long time ago.
He likes to write surprising stories that cross genres, and are often mysterious. He's been writing most of his life, but has really spent the last decade perfecting his craft.
Michael's writing seems to be a blend of mystery and the fantastic. He likes to find the redemption in the horrific; the surviving heart still left beating among all the sorrow; the beautiful lost somewhere in all the ugliness of the world.
He won the prestigious Surrey International Writer's Conference Storyteller's Award twice in a row. This award is sponsored each year by New York Times bestseller Diana Gabaldon and Jack Whyte.

Be sure to check out his blog at http://www.michaelhiebert.com/blog/ and once you're on his site, sign up for his newsletter. Members receive incredible discounts on his books. As Martha Stewart would say, it's a good thing.