Children tend to believe something a guide/mentor tells them. They’re young, and cannot really understand that each person has their own magic within them. This book takes that idea in a literal sense.
Clod, whose name is misspelled by his uneducated mother, doesn’t seem to have any magic in him. At least, the learned Yugen, the magic teacher cannot detect it. He’s different from the other children too, not just when it comes to magic, but also in size. But Clod does have magic inside him, and it is discovered quite suddenly. After a visit from Yugen, who bullies Clod too, one of his sculptures comes to life, and introduces herself as Ada. He doesn’t have any other friends, so Ada becomes his friend. Together, they commit pranks, get into trouble, which leads Yugen to believe Clod is becoming tainted by evil. Especially with Clod’s gift now not a secret…
I liked the story, but I didn’t feel it was engaging from first to last, or a page-turner. At times, I felt the pace was actually quite slow. That being said, there’re a lot of lessons sprinkled in here and there that children reading the book can absorb, and even older readers would agree with. One of my favorite quotes in the book was “Dont assume someone else isn’t struggling. You’ll never know their demons.” It rings true even in reality, helps children to understand compassion.
I loved the character of Ada. She’s mischievous and gets Clod into trouble, but she’s also wise and kind, and generous. Even Clod’s character is well sketched. I could understand his character in a way. The book’s events feel realistic too, like mistakes being made in an election, or those who don’t understand a gift trying to make it seem like something it isn’t etc. I don’t know if middle-grade fiction has to be sans illustrations, but I felt a few illustrations could have helped the read be even better.
I loved the characters and the messages sprinkled across the story. It makes me think that perhaps this book is better savored chapter by chapter, and not at a stretch. I will try reading it like that next time because it is certainly worth a re-read.
|Title: Clod Makes a Friend|
|Author(s): David J Pedersen||Genre: Fantasy|
|ISBN/ASIN: 9780692045664||Publisher: Odysia Press|
(© Vinay Leo R. @ A Bookworm’s Musing
3rd April 2018)