“SUDDENLY IN THE DEPTHS OF THE FOREST,” by Amos Oz, Harcourt Children’s Books, $15.99 (ages 9-12)
Imagine a world with no animals. No dogs, cats, goats, fish or even snails. That’s the reality for people living in a small village in Amos Oz’s “Suddenly in the Depths of the Forest.”
All the animals disappeared in the middle of the night years ago. No one talks about their disappearance, and no one knows why they’re gone. The village, it appears, is cursed.
So when two young children suddenly see a fish, they have to question it’s existence. It was only for a second, but the two are positive a small fish slipped into their view. The children know not to talk of such things publicly, but they can’t let it go either.
Determined to find out what happened to the animals, they set off into the forest, and what they find there is the most surprising discovery of all.
“Suddenly in the Depths of the Forest” is unlike any book I’ve ever read. “Amos Oz’s prose is lyrical and beautifully balanced with a rambling cadence perfect for reading aloud.
The story is simple at face value but beautifully complex at its core. It speaks to topics of tolerance, friendship, loneliness and remembrance without being heavy handed. The text speaks to a child’s sensibilities as well as that of adults.
This enchanting tale is a quick read at 144 pages and well worth your time.
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