Early Book Review: Clod Makes a Friend by David J. Pedersen

Clod Makes a Friend by David J. Pedersen is a fairy tale for middle grade and older readers. It is currently scheduled for release on March 1 2018. Bullies love to hate Clod. Not just because he's bigger, clumsier, and uglier than his classmates - he's also the only student in his school without magic. In a world where all magic is possible and everyone else is born with great gifts to do amazing things, Clod is alone. Living with his mum in a broken-down cottage on barely enough, the only thing Clod has to play with is the clay she occasionally brings him. Bleak is an understatement. More than anything, Clod wants a friend. The only way that's going to happen, is to make one himself. After an angry visit from the worst of the bullies, his teacher Learned Yugen, Clod's clay sculpture of a little girl comes to life and introduces herself as Ada. For a clay girl barely the size of his hand, she has more confidence and courage than he knows what to do with. Every adventure she leads him on gets Clod into trouble. She may be the friend he wants, but is she the friend he needs? After many years, and too many pranks, Yugen becomes convinced that Clod is tainted by the evil slowly infiltrating the Kingdom of Pag, especially when Ada isn't the only one Clod can bring to life.

Clod Makes a Friend is a unique fairy tale style story for everyone. It is about being yourself and growing into your own talents, it is also about friendship, love, and trusting yourself. I found Clod to be a sympathetic character and Yugen to be the kind of person or character I love to hate- power hungry and sowing hatred for everyone different or that he does not understand. The world building was subtle, and I liked how varied the population was, which made the fear and hate sown by Yugen that much more significant to the story. Clod's growth as a character, and in his understanding and power, is well done. I liked the relationship with his mother, and the personality of Ada, although I would have liked more from both of their points of view.  On the down side, I feel like I was told rather than shown a good amount of the story. I loved what was there, but I wanted more of something. I really enjoyed the story and the idea behind it. The theme and lessons of the story were heart felt and on point, leaving its mark on those that read it.

Clod Makes a Friend is a good story, and I liked the ideas in it. I felt like it could have been even better, but I do not know for sure what I felt was missing. 

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