When 13 year old Michael's grandfather passes away, he is not extremely perturbed. Why should he be? He hasn't seen the man since he was seven years old. However, after a fight with his father about the acknowledgement of his grandfather's passing, he begins to feel his grandfather's presence near him. This leads to his seeing his grandfather, and traveling through a river of memories, the river of the dead. However, after altering the past, Michael becomes trapped in the river and has to rely on the help of his friends and father to struggle to extricate himself from it, before he remains frozen there forever.
I thoroughly enjoyed Slipping. Ms. Davitt Bell uses a great deal of description, and I could easily place myself into the story. The tone of the book was a bit dark, as all books dealing with death are, but I believe that it has the potential to become one of the best children's books of our time. This is due to, again, her great descriptions, deep characters, and a great narration. From Michael's perspective, we see the story as it is, and he is straightforward and explains exactly what is going on. This makes the storyline easy to follow, but still stimulating, and I approve greatly of the representation of his grandfather's passing on. Through the understanding of this novel, I learned a great deal about death, and established several new theories about life after death. Although I loved the book itself, I did find some shortcomings. I felt that the ending did not tie up all of the strings, and let Michael's father in a bit of a weak position. Despite this, overall, I would definitely recommend it to all audiences.
Reviewer City, State and Country: Charleston, West Virginia United States