Dream Spinner

 
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Dream Spinner
Author(s)
Publisher
Age Range
12+
Release Date
August 01, 2006
ISBN
0738709190
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Selected for the Book Sense Autumn 2006 Children's Pick List

Disfigured by a car accident that also killed her dad, Jori has been transformed from a popular high school student into a bitter loner. Fatherless, isolated, and betrayed by her best friend, Jori is angry at the world. And now her sister Lisa has disappeared, unable to cope with the changes in her family. Walking home from school one day, Jori stumbles upon a strange house and meets Professor DePris, who shows her a living tapestry woven from dreams. Distrustful of the eccentric old man and the telepathic spider who weaves for him, she resists entering the dream tapestry until she realizes her sister is trapped inside. It's up to Jori to enter the tapestry and rescue Lisa from the monstrous old man who is feasting on her fantasies. But how can Jori convince Lisa to leave this fantastic, yet dangerous, world where anything--even reuniting with their father--is possible?

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Overall rating 
 
5.0
Plot 
 
5.0
Characters 
 
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Writing Style 
 
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Anyone can be a hero

Jori has been bitter and lonely since her family was torn apart by a tragic accident and the disappearance of her younger sister. But when she gets drawn into a wonderful dream world where her family can be whole again, she has to make the difficult choice between going back to the way things were or deciding to live in the present, even if it means facing a lot of hard knocks so she can keep on moving forward.

Maybe it's the fact that I don't love spiders (as you can see from the cover art, they're a central motif), maybe it's because stories about dream worlds aren't my favourite; whatever the reason, Dream Spinner wasn't a book that I was dying to read the second I got my hands on it. But believe me, if I'd known how good it was, I wouldn't have wasted a single minute. Spunky, standoffish Jori is a delightful character and her strange ally Newt is adorable. The dreamworld relationship between Newt and the loveable Kieran is particularly appealing; their scenes are some of the brightest and most memorable. Although more than half of the story is a journey through a dream world, the magical land itself is less important than what the characters learn about themselves while they're there. The only criticism I can make is that a few more scenes featuring supporting characters Newt and Derek in the real world might have made it easier to understand their personalities; but then, Jori is notorious for not giving people chances anymore, so maybe the fact that we don't get to know them before they enter the dream world is in keeping with that. Dream Spinner is an original and empowering tale about finding within yourself the strength to go on and to help others to do the same.

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