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Source: c/o BookSavvy PR
Publisher: Ollivander Press
Format: Paperback, 240 pages
Release Date: February 25, 2012
When you run from bullies, you never know where you might wind up…A powerful story of bullying, prevention and self-confidence, Bitopia is an excellent read for people of any age.
Bitopia is a wonderland of fantastical foliage and mysterious creatures. It’s also a place where Venators lurk, vile creatures that relentlessly hunt children. So the children of Bitopia, the only human inhabitants, are forced to live in a high-walled city for protection, a medieval metropolis of cold and shadow where time passes but no one ages, a place of no escape.
Like all the other children of Bitopia, Stewart arrives there unexpectedly while fleeing from bullies. And, like all Newcomers, Stewart dreams of finding a way back home. Risking exile from the city and the protection that it offers, Stewart and Cora, his Finder, discover a clue to escaping, one that presents them with a terrible choice: face their greatest fear and risk death, or be trapped in Bitopia forever.
A fast-paced adventure that addresses a fundamental element of bullying-fear-and provides readers with an example of how to deal with bullying on their own.
The writing in this novel makes it so easy to imagine yourself in the strange and wonderful world of Bitopia. The passages describing the land are full of imagery and clearly imagined description. Whether back in Stewart's home of Harrison City or inside the stone walls of Bitopia, it's easy to feel as though you've been whirled away somewhere new.
Stewart was an interesting main character. There was a decidedly logical way to how he approached most situations and I liked the consistency in his behaviour -- bully situations aside. He was fairly easy to sympathize with but honestly, I feel that could be true for any bullying victim. If there's one thing I wish this book had done a better job of, it would be giving me a stronger personal connection to Stewart, although that is most definitely an individual assessment. Overall, I just felt there could have been a bit more development to his character.
Ari Magnusson handles the sensitive issues in this novel with such grace. It is a truly well-thought out guide to bullying and one that I think will resonate with a lot of people -- it certainly did with me. The message is simple but also realistic. It encourages self-confidence and promotes peaceful, lasting interactions.
Worth a read!
Cover Comments: Visually, I'm not overly impressed but I do appreciate all of the little things that ring true with the contents of the book.
4 Golden Crowns!