Bob

by Wendy Mass (Author) Nicholas Gannon (Illustrator)

Reading Level: 4th − 5th Grade
It's been five years since Livy and her family have visited Livy's grandmother in Australia. Now that she's back, Livy has the feeling she's forgotten something really, really important about Gran's house.

It turns out she's right. Bob, a short, greenish creature dressed in a chicken suit, didn't forget Livy, or her promise. He's been waiting five years for her to come back, hiding in a closet like she told him to. He can't remember who--or what--he is, where he came from, or if he even has a family. But five years ago Livy promised she would help him find his way back home. Now it's time to keep that promise. Clue by clue, Livy and Bob will unravel the mystery of where Bob comes from, and discover the kind of magic that lasts forever. Wendy Mass and Rebecca Stead, two masterminds of classic, middle-grade fiction come together to craft this magical story about the enduring power of friendship. 

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Booklist

Starred Review
An unusual fantasy with simplicity, immediacy, and wit.

Publishers Weekly

Starred Review

Ten-year-old Livy, who lives in Massachusetts, hasn't visited her Gran Nicholas's house in Australia for five years. When she returns for a visit, Livy is struck by the feeling that something very important is waiting for her. Sure enough, a peek inside her closet reveals "a small zombie wearing a chicken suit," perched atop a dictionary. "You're back. Took you long enough," the creature says to the girl. Once upon a time, it seems, five-year-old Livy discovered this strange being, who goes by the comically understated name of Bob, and the two formed a secret bond. Picking up where they left off, Livy keeps Bob hidden while they hunt for clues about what he is, where he came from, and how to get him home. Authors Mass (the Willow Falls series) and Stead (Goodbye Stranger) team up for this irresistible tale of magic, mystery, and friendship that poses timeless questions about identity and belonging. Ultimately, the answers Livy and Bob seek are waiting in the pages of a cherished book--a tribute to the power of storytelling, which draws readers into the imaginative investigation. Final art not seen by PW. Ages 8-12. Authors' agents: (for Stead) Faye Bender, the Book Group; (for Mass) Ginger Knowlton, Curtis Brown Ltd. Illustrator's agent: Rebecca Sherman, Writers House. (May)

Copyright 2018 Publishers Weekly, LLC Used with permission.

School Library Journal

Starred Review

Gr 3-6--Five years ago, Livy left her friend Bob, who she describes as a zombielike creature, in the closet of her grandmother's house in Australia without saying goodbye. Bob has loyally awaited Livy's return, dressed in the chicken suit she made to disguise him, and hopeful about the promise she made to help him find his way home, wherever that may be. As Livy gradually eases back into the rekindled friendship, vague memories return to her that could lead to the discovery of Bob's home. Livy's separation anxiety about her mother's upcoming trip with friends and the drought in her grandmother's town round out the story for a full plot line. Mass and Stead's brilliant collaboration has produced a beautiful tale of friendship, love, and the magic of childhood. Livy and Bob's points of view alternate chapters, and each character's personality is wonderfully realized with subtle nuances of emotion and humor. A perfectly paced plot, supported by secondary characters to whom readers will relate and luminous artwork by Gannon, fill out a story that readers will eagerly embrace. VERDICT A must-have for libraries serving middle grade readers, this novel delights.--Amy McInerney, Falmouth Elementary School, ME

Copyright 2018 School Library Journal, LLC Used with permission.

Review quotes

"Pure enchantment" —The New York Times

"MAGICAL." —The Wall Street Journal

"Perfect for reading aloud or independent reading, this comfortably old-fashioned tale refreshes age-old themes of belonging, friendship, family and the power of story."—San Francisco Chronicle

"A delightfully whimsical tale that begs to be read with a friend. Don't miss Bob." —The Christian Science Monitor

"This is a welcome addition to the middle-grade canon and will likely become a classic. Bob deserves readership beyond middle grade."—San Francisco Book Review

Wendy Mass
Wendy Mass is the author of award-winning books for young readers, including 11 Birthdays, Finally, 13 Gifts, The Last Present, and the Twice Upon a Time series; as well as A Mango-Shaped Space, Jeremy Fink and the Meaning of Life, Heaven Looks a Lot Like the Mall, Leap Day, Every Soul a Star, Space Taxi, and The Candymakers. She lives with her family in New Jersey.
Oriol Vidal is an illustrator and storyboard artist living in Barcelona, Spain. Wendy Mass's Time Jumpers is the first early chapter book series he has illustrated.
Classification
Fiction
ISBN-13
9781250308696
Lexile Measure
590
Guided Reading Level
-
Publisher
Feiwel & Friends
Publication date
May 20, 2019
Series
-
BISAC categories
JUV039060 - Juvenile Fiction | Social Themes | Friendship
JUV013030 - Juvenile Fiction | Family | Multigenerational
JUV037000 - Juvenile Fiction | Fantasy & Magic
JUV028000 - Juvenile Fiction | Mysteries, Espionage, & Detective Stories
JUV030080 - Juvenile Fiction | People & Places | Australia & Oceania
Library of Congress categories
Grandmothers
Missing children
Lost children
Memory
Australia
Animals, Mythical
Imaginary creatures
Bulletin of the Center for Children's Books, 05/01/18

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