Review Detail

Kids Fiction 3454
Step in and Smell the Apples
Overall rating 
 
4.5
Plot/Characters/Writing Style 
 
4.0
Illustrations/Photos (if applicable) 
 
5.0
What a ride! The Shadow Collector's Apprentice managed to hook me right from the start, and it was a unique adventure! This fantasy/mystery/historical fiction(with even a little bit of environmentalism) work was gripping and compelling. Cully, the main character, pulled me in with his deep, wondering thoughts and emotions and his persevering spirit. Devastated with his father's mysterious departure, Cully is trying to navigate his small-town world of tween girls, friendship, and family. It is 1963, and he lives with his three aunts, who own and maintain an apple orchard but are having financial troubles. When summer arrives, Cully finds himself wanting a job in order to help in whatever small way he can. He hears about an apprenticeship at an antiques shop run by the grandfather of the weirdest girl in school, Isabel. When he is accepted, he realizes he has gotten himself into far more than he bargained for.

Weaving together such differing elements as quirky, hard-working, and enchanting aunts, environmental concerns, Secret Services, World War 1 and 2, and insects, Gordon managed to draw me in and hold me there, even if, at times, my suspension of disbelief was not there. The main hook? The characters. I grew to love Cully, Isabel, his aunts, and even his friend Sam. Each character was drawn in such a way that I could see them so clearly in my mind, and felt like I knew them myself. Not every writer has such a knack, but Gordon does, and it worked so well in this fantastical story. It is a great read and perfect for middle-graders, introducing them to new words and concepts, and even opening their eyes to look into all sorts of new subjects.
Report this review Was this review helpful to you? 0 0

Comments

Already have an account? or Create an account
Powered by JReviews

FEATURED GIVEAWAYS

Latest Book Listings Added

Riverland
 
4.0
 
0.0 (0)
When things go bad at home, sisters Eleanor and Mike...
All You Need Is a Pencil: The Totally Sick Sick-Day Activity Book
 
5.0
 
0.0 (0)
A perfect, device-free remedy to what to do when the...
Animazes
 
5.0
 
0.0 (0)
Follow fascinating journeys of animal migration in this beautiful book...
Christmas Cheer for The Grouchy Ladybug
 
3.5
 
0.0 (0)
Perfect for fans of the New York Times bestseller Hugs...
Baby Loves the Five Senses: Hearing!
 
4.7
 
0.0 (0)
Big, brainy science for the littlest listeners. ...
 
5.0
 
0.0 (0)
In 1935, ten-year-old Alex Maki from Bainbridge Island, Washington is...
Laugh-Out-Loud Halloween Jokes: Lift-the-Flap
 
4.0
 
0.0 (0)
The #1 bestselling Laugh-Out-Loud Jokes for Kids series is bringing...
Little Tigers
 
4.0
 
0.0 (0)
Journey with a family of tigers as they search for...
Explorer Academy Codebreaking Activity Adventure
 
5.0
 
0.0 (0)
Unlock ancient puzzles and secrets introduced via supercool codes and...
One Fox: A Counting Book Thriller
 
5.0
 
0.0 (0)
A stunningly gorgeous counting book with a delightful surprise ...
Hard Work, but It's Worth It: The Life of Jimmy Carter
 
5.0
 
0.0 (0)
The first picture book about the inspiring life of humanitarian...
Ready to Fly: How Sylvia Townsend Became the Bookmobile Ballerina
 
5.0
 
0.0 (0)
An inspiring picture book for little ballerinas everywhere! ...
Odd Dog Out
 
4.0
 
0.0 (0)
A heartwarming and poignant story from award-winning creator Rob Biddulph...
The First Time I Died
 
0.0
 
0.0 (0)
The first time I died, I didn’t come back alone......
Jeremiah Jericho: Allowance (book 1)
 
0.0
 
0.0 (0)
Jeremiah just turned 16 and found out that he inherited...
Pete the Kitty Goes to the Doctor
 
5.0
 
0.0 (0)
Oh no! Pete the Kitty has a tummyache. Good thing...

Latest Member Reviews

Take the Mic: Fictional Stories of Everyday Resistance
 
4.0
"This is the type of book I’d like to see included in school curriculums. The stories are like wide open..."
The (other) F Word: A Celebration of the Fat and Fierce
 
5.0
"3 Reasons You Need THE OTHER F WORD on your shelves: 1.) The list of contributors: The range of..."
Flights of Fancy: Creative Inspiration from Ten Award-Winning Authors and Illustrators
 
4.3
"'Flights of Fancy: Creative Inspiration from Ten Award-Winning Authors and Illustrators' is a great help to aspiring authors, as it..."
Black Enough: Stories of Being Young and Black in America
 
5.0
"See more of my reviews on The YA Kitten! My copy was an ARC I got from the publisher as..."
Fresh Ink: An Anthology
 
4.0
"Anthologies have such a special place in my heart. The art of the short story is undervalued and it’s just..."
Welcome Home
 
5.0
"I have mixed feelings about anthologies. Anthologies are a great way to be introduced to new authors. However, in..."
One Death, Nine Stories
 
3.0
"Review Found: literarychaos.com To be frank, this anthology was not for me. I was so excited by the..."
Welcome Home
 
4.3
"WELCOME HOME: AN ANTHOLOGY ON LOVE AND ADOPTION features stories by some of the best voices in YA literature (or..."
Welcome Home
 
3.7
"WELCOME HOME is a collection of stories about adoption from a number of perspectives, from teens who are meeting their..."
Violent Ends
 
4.7
"VIOLENT ENDS by Shaun David Hutchinson and 17 other authors is a young adult contemporary fiction, standalone novel. I..."
Midnight Bites
 
4.7
"Rachel Caine is an amazing storyteller with her Morganville Vampire series. I love her characters including the town where Vamps..."
Summer Days and Summer Nights
 
4.3
"I'm a huge fan of YA anthologies. The collection of short stories in SUMMER DAYS AND SUMMER NIGHTS ..."
Almost Midnight
 
3.7
"MY THOUGHTS I love this series, and the original Shadow Falls series! So, of course I was more than..."
Memos In Little Stories
 
4.0
"A modern take on timeless wisdom. I went in expecting a short-story collection, and immediately had to adjust my..."
Taking Aim
 
5.0
"The topic of guns is a sore point for more than a few. Some want stricter gun laws while..."
Almost Midnight
 
3.3
"It’s always a bit of a challenge to review a literary collection, and so I’ll try to give each work..."
The Anatomy of Curiosity
 
5.0
"Once again The Merry Sisters of Fate--YA authors, Maggie Stiefvater, Tessa Gratton, and Brenna Yovanoff--have written a collection of short..."
Falling For Alice
 
4.0
"I'm a huge fan of analogies. Why? They are perfect for those who feel that they're too busy..."
Monstrous Affections: An Anthology of Beastly Tales
 
4.0
"What if the monsters weren't the bad guys? If they were just regular, everyday people who went to school and..."
One Death, Nine Stories
 
3.7
"What I Liked: One Death, Nine Stories didn’t really scream Christina book, but I couldn’t resist the premise of the..."