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"[A]n ungothic gothic, a harshly unmagical work of magical realism...no matter what readers are expecting, they're certain to find surprises. Between the provocative questions, the warm and weird friendship, and the blurring of the edges of reality, readers will be hooked." "[R]ealistic, even gritty, drama, fueled by Moskowitz's brand of stream-of-consciousness wonder, tumbling emotion, and dark undertones." "Provocative, unsettling, complex and multilayered."--Kirkus Reviews, starred review
Gr 9-11-The premise of this book is that a magical fish impregnates a young woman, resulting in the birth of a half human/half sea creature. These fish, if eaten, can cure all kinds of diseases. Teeth rescues the fish he considers to be his brothers from fishermen's nets. When he is caught, he is beaten again and again, but always manages to escape. Rudy's family has moved to the island seeking a cure for his younger brother's cystic fibrosis. Rudy is so alone, restless, and bored that meeting Teeth results in an instant curiosity and connection. Diana, Teeth's sister, is lonely, too, and initiates contact with Rudy, apparently the only other teen on the island. This is a story of Rudy's path to identity and making choices in complicated circumstances. He loves his brother and is grateful when the fish help stem the disease but also understands Teeth's desire to rescue the fish from the nets. To allow Teeth to continue his mission will spell sickness for the islanders who have come to rely on the healing ability of the fish; to allow the fishermen to slowly beat Teeth to death is clearly wrong. In addition to these dilemmas, Rudy wonders about going to college and about how his family has changed since being on the island. This is an unusual story, narrated by Rudy, but his frequent use of obscenities seems unnecessary. In the end he finds a way to save Teeth, help his brother, and accept his place in life.-Joanne K. Cecere, Monroe-Woodbury High School, Central Valley, NY (c) Copyright 2013. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.