Tag Archives: mid-grade

Book Review: DUST (mg) by Arthur Slade

Here is a tale set in Saskatchawan, Canada during the Depression and Dust Bowl years. I really liked Slade’s sense of setting and the beginning of the book where a seven year old goes missing. At this point, the story is open ended and can go in many different directions. But this is a mid-grade novel and we need to ground it, so, well- the author chose magical realism to do that. We have a real crime, but it’s not framed like those missing children’s cases of nightly TV. Instead a mysterious stranger comes to town and offers the townsfolk the promise of rain. Only the missing boy’s older brother, Robert, is able to see through this charlatan. Mesmerism, butterflies, and a magical windmill all play a role in resolving the case of what happened to the area’s now numerous missing children. Overall, I’d give this a four out of five.

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