Books Kids Fiction Neversink

Neversink

http://www.yabookscentral.com/media/reviews/photos/thumbnail/200x275s/95/e4/2e/_images-1349830875.jpeg
 
0.0
 
4.5 (2)
302   0
Co-Authors / Illustrators
Age Range
8+
Release Date
March 27, 2012
ISBN
978-0062027917
Buy This Book
      
Along the Arctic Circle lies a small island called Neversink, whose jagged cliffs and ice-gouged rocks are home to a colony of odd-looking seabirds called auks, including one Lockley J. Puffin. With their oceanfront views and plentiful supply of fish, the auks have few concerns—few, save for Lockley's two best friends, Egbert and Ruby, a know-it-all walrus and a sharp-tongued hummingbird.

But all of this is about to change. Rozbell, the newly crowned king of the Owl Parliament, is dealing with a famine on the mainland of Tytonia—and he has long had his scheming eyes on the small colony to the north. Now Neversink's independence hangs in the balance. An insurgence of owls will inevitably destroy life as the auks know it—unless Lockley can do something about it.

Barry Wolverton's debut is an epic tale of some very un-epic birds, a fast-paced and funny story of survival, friendship, and fish.

User reviews

Average user rating from: 2 user(s)

Already have an account? or Create an account
Overall rating 
 
4.5
Plot/Characters/Writing Style 
 
4.0  (2)
Illustrations/Photos (if applicable) 
 
5.0  (2)
Neversink by Barry Wolverton is the story of Lockley J. Puffin and what happens after a nasty little owl goes on a power trip and breaks the peace between Tytonia and the auks' home island of Neversink. The story is set far in the past, as described by the following passage:

--The continents had formed and separated but were covered with forests. The dinosaurs were long gone. Humans did not yet roam the earth, much less rule it. (Neversink, pg 2)--

Animals communicated... Okay, talked, to one another, but the book centers on the birds. The peace between Neversink and Tytonia is uneasy, with grudges still held from the Cod Wars of a previous generation. When Rozbell the pygmy owl schemes his way into becoming king of the owls, he does away with that peace and subjugates the auks of Neversink.

What initially drew me to Neversink was Sam Nielson's beautiful cover. (I don't think it can be said enough how important it is to have a cover that will pull readers to a book.) Luckily for readers, there are plenty of black and white illustrations by Nielson throughout the book. They strengthen the story by giving the children (and adults) who read it a good visualization of the various animals. There is a handy guide at the beginning of the novel that shows an illustration of each of the birds mentioned in Neversink, as well as a brief description of them. I, personally, cannot tell any owls apart except for the snowy owl and was completely at a loss to what an auk looked like, so it was helpful to me. A handy map of Neversink and the surrounding area is also included in the book.

As for the story itself in Neversink, I am a bit torn. I learned new things about the birds, the Artic, and the ocean, but I think all of this information took away from the story for me. There was no information dumping, so to speak, but I still had trouble getting into it. However, the mythology Wolverton created for the creatures was fascinating and imaginative.

The characters themselves were cute, and their interactions were fun to read. Lockley was a bird torn between not making waves (a motto of Neversink's birds that causes them a lot of problems in Neversink) and doing what was right. He looked to his friends, Egbert the Walrus and Ruby the Hummingbird, and the Great Auk for advice and assistance when he had a problem. Egbert is an intelligent, and a little uppity, walrus who wants to write the history of Neversink and its stories. Ruby is a hilarious little bird who migrates to Neversink each year, and makes pop culture metaphors and references that no one understands. (This was set thousands of years ago, remember?) My favorite character would have to be Lucy, Lockley's wife. She is pregnant with their egg and is not one to let the owls completely take advantage of her. Although her cooking may have been a catalyst for Rozbell's actions, her own actions serve as a catalyst later in the book.

Neversink is a novel about standing up for what is right, conservation, and the importance of friendship. This is a book that will appeal to both boys and girls who at a "middle grade" age. Young readers will learn about birds, their behavior, and environment, while enjoying the antics of the characters and a unique story.
Overall rating 
 
4.0
Plot/Characters/Writing Style 
 
3.0
Illustrations/Photos (if applicable) 
 
5.0
Kayla Beck Reviewed by Kayla Beck March 22, 2013
Top 500 Reviewer  -   View all my reviews (13)

A Puffin, a Walrus, & a Hummingbird Walking into a...

Neversink by Barry Wolverton is the story of Lockley J. Puffin and what happens after a nasty little owl goes on a power trip and breaks the peace between Tytonia and the auks' home island of Neversink. The story is set far in the past, as described by the following passage:

--The continents had formed and separated but were covered with forests. The dinosaurs were long gone. Humans did not yet roam the earth, much less rule it. (Neversink, pg 2)--

Animals communicated... Okay, talked, to one another, but the book centers on the birds. The peace between Neversink and Tytonia is uneasy, with grudges still held from the Cod Wars of a previous generation. When Rozbell the pygmy owl schemes his way into becoming king of the owls, he does away with that peace and subjugates the auks of Neversink.

What initially drew me to Neversink was Sam Nielson's beautiful cover. (I don't think it can be said enough how important it is to have a cover that will pull readers to a book.) Luckily for readers, there are plenty of black and white illustrations by Nielson throughout the book. They strengthen the story by giving the children (and adults) who read it a good visualization of the various animals. There is a handy guide at the beginning of the novel that shows an illustration of each of the birds mentioned in Neversink, as well as a brief description of them. I, personally, cannot tell any owls apart except for the snowy owl and was completely at a loss to what an auk looked like, so it was helpful to me. A handy map of Neversink and the surrounding area is also included in the book.

As for the story itself in Neversink, I am a bit torn. I learned new things about the birds, the Artic, and the ocean, but I think all of this information took away from the story for me. There was no information dumping, so to speak, but I still had trouble getting into it. However, the mythology Wolverton created for the creatures was fascinating and imaginative.

The characters themselves were cute, and their interactions were fun to read. Lockley was a bird torn between not making waves (a motto of Neversink's birds that causes them a lot of problems in Neversink) and doing what was right. He looked to his friends, Egbert the Walrus and Ruby the Hummingbird, and the Great Auk for advice and assistance when he had a problem. Egbert is an intelligent, and a little uppity, walrus who wants to write the history of Neversink and its stories. Ruby is a hilarious little bird who migrates to Neversink each year, and makes pop culture metaphors and references that no one understands. (This was set thousands of years ago, remember?) My favorite character would have to be Lucy, Lockley's wife. She is pregnant with their egg and is not one to let the owls completely take advantage of her. Although her cooking may have been a catalyst for Rozbell's actions, her own actions serve as a catalyst later in the book.

Neversink is a novel about standing up for what is right, conservation, and the importance of friendship. This is a book that will appeal to both boys and girls who at a "middle grade" age. Young readers will learn about birds, their behavior, and environment, while enjoying the antics of the characters and a unique story.

Was this review helpful to you? 
Slightly older readers have all seen one too many talking My Little Pony or nonsensical “bow wow” from Blue via Blue’s Clues to become wary of any sort of media featuring talking animals. Sometimes they’re just too dang annoying or childish to really merit spending time with these Chatty Kathy critters. So when a captivating book featuring only talking animals comes along, it’s a pleasant surprise. Barry Wolverton’s "Neversink" really stands out as one such story.

Wolverton shows the key to talking animals is giving said animals a sort of sophistication. There is no need for barks intermingled with simple monosyllabic words, or to have the animal convo so dumbed down it becomes condescending to young readers. Wolverton’s characters have such an air of intelligence and wit around them that you can’t help but be pulled in by their conversations.

Furthermore, the adventure of Wolverton’s animal characters has some importance to it, rather than a “Let’s all go play in the sandbox!” kind of feel. Lockley J. Puffin actually has to save his entire species from famine all while attempting to overthrow a corrupt government. I just don’t think there are enough clues in the world for Blue to tackle those kind of challenges. Wolverton’s characters, however, have all the qualities needed to handle just such an adventure, and they make me wish I had some Dr. Dolittle-like powers to have a nice chat with all of them.
Overall rating 
 
5.0
Plot/Characters/Writing Style 
 
5.0
Illustrations/Photos (if applicable) 
 
5.0
Jason Gallaher, Editor Reviewed by Jason Gallaher, Editor November 25, 2012
Last updated: December 04, 2013
Top 50 Reviewer  -   View all my reviews (106)

If Only I Was Dr. Dolittle

Slightly older readers have all seen one too many talking My Little Pony or nonsensical “bow wow” from Blue via Blue’s Clues to become wary of any sort of media featuring talking animals. Sometimes they’re just too dang annoying or childish to really merit spending time with these Chatty Kathy critters. So when a captivating book featuring only talking animals comes along, it’s a pleasant surprise. Barry Wolverton’s "Neversink" really stands out as one such story.

Wolverton shows the key to talking animals is giving said animals a sort of sophistication. There is no need for barks intermingled with simple monosyllabic words, or to have the animal convo so dumbed down it becomes condescending to young readers. Wolverton’s characters have such an air of intelligence and wit around them that you can’t help but be pulled in by their conversations.

Furthermore, the adventure of Wolverton’s animal characters has some importance to it, rather than a “Let’s all go play in the sandbox!” kind of feel. Lockley J. Puffin actually has to save his entire species from famine all while attempting to overthrow a corrupt government. I just don’t think there are enough clues in the world for Blue to tackle those kind of challenges. Wolverton’s characters, however, have all the qualities needed to handle just such an adventure, and they make me wish I had some Dr. Dolittle-like powers to have a nice chat with all of them.

Was this review helpful to you? 
 
Powered by JReviews

LATEST YABC BLOG POSTS - BLOG TOURS, ANNOUNCEMENTS, AND GIVEAWAYS

View more blog entries

Latest Book Listings Added

From Alison Cherry, author of Red, a novel PW declares “sparkles with wit,” comes a terrific new book about two...
 
3.7
 
0.0 (0)
A bright, poignant, and deeply funny autobiographical account of coming of age as an amputee cancer survivor, from Josh Sundquist:...
 
3.0
 
0.0 (0)
A TREMBLING EARTH The flames of civil war sweep across the Shima Imperium. With their plans to renew the Kazumitsu...
 
5.0
 
0.0 (0)
Phantom's Dance Book Review
Category: Young Adult Indie
Christine Dadey’s family uprooted their lives and moved to Houston for her to attend the prestigious Rousseau Academy of Dance....
 
0.0
 
0.0 (0)
A streetwise girl trains to take on a gang of drug dealers and avenge her best friend’s death in this...
 
4.0
 
0.0 (0)
the cure for dreaming.jpg
Olivia Mead is a headstrong, independent girl—a suffragist—in an age that prefers its girls to be docile. It’s 1900 in...
 
3.8 (2)
 
0.0 (0)
unmade.jpg
Powerful love comes with a price. Who will be the sacrifice? Kami has lost the boy she loves, is tied...
 
3.7
 
0.0 (0)
Thrust into a world of men, can a timid girl find bravery as the first female Death? Thirteen-year-old Suzie Sarnio...
 
0.0
 
0.0 (0)
Category: Young Adult Indie
The stress is getting to fifteen-year-old Jess. Her mum’s officially lost it, going from yummy mummy to seriously weird almost...
 
0.0
 
0.0 (0)
Category: Young Adult Indie
“Powerful. Clever. A solid ... choice for both girls and boys.” —Publishers Weekly Amazon Breakthrough Novel Award Quarterfinalist...
 
0.0
 
0.0 (0)
The Whispering Skull.jpg
Category: Kids Fiction
In the six months since Anthony, Lucy, and George survived a night in the most haunted house in England, Lockwood...
 
0.0
 
0.0 (0)
Screaming Staircase.jpg
Category: Kids Fiction
A sinister Problem has occurred in London: all nature of ghosts, haunts, spirits, and specters are appearing throughout the city,...
 
0.0
 
0.0 (0)
A Sudden Light.jpg
In the summer of 1990, fourteen-year-old Trevor Riddell gets his first glimpse of Riddell House. Built from the spoils of...
 
0.0
 
0.0 (0)
My Cousins Keeper.jpg
Category: Kids Fiction
When the odd new kid at school turns out to be his cousin, Kieran feels embarrassed and resentful. But how...
 
5.0
 
0.0 (0)
The Number 7.jpg
It all starts with a mysterious phone call from Louisa's decorative antique phone. And that wouldn't be so strange, except...
 
4.0
 
0.0 (0)
Gollywood, Here I Come! | Children's Book About Celebrities
Category: Kids Indie
The Tale of a Young Turkey’s Rise to Cinematic Stardom. Who doesn’t fantasize about becoming a big movie star, living...
 
0.0
 
5.0 (1)
Category: Young Adult Indie
Combining the survival instincts made famous in THE HUNGER GAMES with the intensity of THE BOOK THIEF, LAST STOP KLINDENSPIEL...
 
0.0
 
4.8 (1)
With inspiration from Mary Shelley's Frankenstein, this breathless conclusion to the Madman's Daughter trilogy—perfect for fans of Libba Bray—explores the...
 
4.3
 
0.0 (0)
From Allison van Diepen, author of Snitch and Street Pharm, comes a sexy, dangerous novel about...
 
4.3
 
0.0 (0)
Game of Thrones meets the Grimm's fairy tales in this twisted, fast-paced romantic fantasy-adventure about Sleeping Beauty's daughter, a warrior...
 
3.7
 
0.0 (0)