TWO GIRLS, A CLOCK, AND A CROOKED HOUSE, by Michael Poore, Random House Books for Young Readers, Sept. 10, 2019, Hardcover, $16.99 (ages 8-12)
There once was a girl who was struck by lightning, and that lightning made the impossible possible. That’s the premise behind Two Girls, a Clock, and a Crooked House, by Michael Poore.
Amy is not a “normal” girl. As the daughter of two scientists, her upbringing has been about hypothesizes and saving the planet. Right now, for example, her parents are camping out in a field, trying to stop a mining company from creating an open pit on the edge of town.
Amy’s best friend is Moo. Moo can’t talk. She can’t move unless someone physically initiates the action. You’d think their relationship would be a bit one-sided, but Amy likes being able to talk and she enjoys the companionship.
That relationship changes, though, after Amy gets struck by lightning. Somehow the sparks change Amy’s wiring, and suddenly, she and Moo can communicate using only their minds. It turns out Moo has essentially been captive inside her body. Now that she can communicate, the whole world opens up.
Time opens up.
That’s right, the girls travel through time and meet a witch, well sort of. … There’s lots more to this story that you’ll have to read on your own.
Two Girls, a Clock and a Crooked House is unlike any book I’ve ever read. It’s quirky and a little weird and delightful in many ways. Amy and Moo are the reason the books work. Their way of looking at the surrounding world is unique.
Michael Poore’s prose mirrors his story. There’s a playfulness to it that makes what happens more believable, or unbelievable — depending on who you are. It’s this light tone that kept me reading, even when some of the elements became borderline too wacky.
Two Girls, a Clock and a Crooked House is a book that plays right to the middle-grade imagination and will be a good choice for the younger set.
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