Book Review: Bob by Wendy Mass; Rebecca Stead

Bob is a middle grade novel by Wendy Mass and Rebecca Stead. 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.

Bob is a wonderful look at childhood imagination, friendship, and folklore. Livy does not remember her first visit to her grandmother's house, since she was only five at the time she does not really worry about. When she makes a return trip she tries to remember, little things come back- but it is not until she comes face to face with a little guys non-zombie in her closet that she starts to work on the mystery. Together she and Bob work to fill in the blanks. I love that readers get an insight to Bob's thoughts, not just Livy's. I found the fairy tale nature of the mystery to be sweet, and now I need to do some reading and research to see if the story of Bob, and those like him, is based on a folktale I do not know or a fresh creation. I like that the book allows young readers to act like kids, for tweens to do things like truth and dare- but also let lose and dance and play with dolls. My only disappointment as that I was reading a pre publication galley, so I did not get the full impact of all the illustrations that will be included with the final copy. This is a wonderful book that I hope will find its way into personal, school, and public libraries.

Bob is a heartwarming story about friendship and folklore that stuck with me long after I finished the book. The characters were well written and the story left me with hope and a quiet joy.

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