Review: Answers In The Pages

Answers in the Pages is many things, but the core of it is pure reading joy. From start to finish,

it’s fresh, fun and intelligent. 
Yes it’s a hard-hitting, issues-based novel which interrogates book-banning and homophobia; and yes it’s a sophisticated, nuanced and layered action-story that would give many of today’s online worlds a run for their money. 
And it’s certainly an insight into
being brave and fighting for your own story. But alongside and despite all of these things, it’s really just pure joy on the page.
Donovan’s grade 5 class are stoked to be reading ‘The Adventurers’ for school. This book’s main characters Oliver and Rick, along with their friend Melody, are on a mission to save planet earth from an evil genius. But Donovan’s mum has decided that the book’s main characters are gay – which doesn’t please her. So she complains, ‘The Adventurers’ is embargoed and soon the whole school is embroiled in a debate.
Meanwhile, Gideon and Roberto work on a book project together, and find they are drawn
closer through their shared love of turtles, among other things.
One of the standouts in this book are the believable and engaging characters, who really care about each other.
In Answers In The Pages, three story threads are deftly intertwined into a sometimes bewildering – but always compelling – action-packed story. I particularly love that the fast-paced and layered mish-mash of information is squeezed into this one, elegantly crafted narrative. An exploration of friendship, self-acceptance and finding your authentic voice, this book dives into the hard stuff and comes out the other side with just a head toss and a little bit of a dusting down.
At less than 200 pages, it’s definitely not an ‘easy read.’ The actual structure leaves you a little
breathless, but there’s enough forward momentum and high-stakes-action (alligator pits and burning houses feature!) to hold reluctant and/or confused readers. We are firmly invested to keep turning pages in order to find the answers to the millions of questions that arise! The book’s title is clever and very apt.
There are unexpected backflips and genuine surprises that will keep everyone on their toes.
Some might even re-start the book as soon as it’s finished – I was certainly tempted. This book explores love, acceptance, friendship, bravery, speaking your truth and caring. Such important themes. And such a clever, compelling rendering of these.

Title: Answers In The Pages
Author: David Levithan
Publisher: Text, $16.99
Publication Date: 2 August, 2022
Format: Paperback
ISBN: 9781922458872
For ages: 8+
Type: Junior Fiction

August 25, 2022 at 01:09AM DimbutNice