The Doldrums and the Helmsley Curse

Featured
 
4.3
 
0.0 (0)
1726 0
The Doldrums and the Helmsley Curse
Co-Authors / Illustrators
Publisher
Age Range
8+
Release Date
November 07, 2017
ISBN
978-0062320971
Buy This Book
      

The stand-alone sequel to The Doldrums, which the New York Times called “a dreamy charmer of a book,” is a second tour-de-force by author-illustrator Nicholas Gannon. It brims with the spirit of exploration and celebrates the bond of friendship. The exquisite package features Gannon’s distinctive full-color art throughout, as well as black-and-white spot illustrations. The Doldrums and the Helmsley Curse is a timeless tale and a beautiful gift for a young reader. Archer Helmsley’s grandparents—famous explorers who went missing on an iceberg two years ago—are finally coming home. Archer is overjoyed, but he may be the only one. Rumors are flying that Archer’s grandparents were never really abandoned on the iceberg; that they’re making it all up. Archer knows that the rumors are false. With his best friends, Oliver and Adélaïde, and their new neighbor, Kana, Archer sets out during a snowstorm to rescue his grandparents’ reputation. In the tradition of Roald Dahl, Lemony Snicket, and Brian Selznick, Nicholas Gannon’s wildly imaginative world of The Doldrums and the Helmsley Curse is packed with sly humor, an undeniably charming cast of characters, and the thrill of discovering secrets and adventures right in your own backyard. With approximately twenty pieces of full-color artwork, as well as black-and-white spot illustrations, and deft, literary writing, Nicholas Gannon once again creates a fully realized world and a story to sink into and explore.

Editor reviews

1 reviews

The Adventure Continues
Overall rating 
 
4.3
Plot 
 
4.0
Characters 
 
4.0
Writing Style 
 
5.0
The Doldrums are back in this mystery and intrigue-laden Middle Grade continuation. Though it’s definitely a sequel, the story has been crafted in such a way that readers needn’t have discovered book #1 to enjoy and fully comprehend The Doldrums and the Helmsley Curse. Here, Archer (and readers by extension) finally meet Archer’s famous/infamous grandparents, and are given their first look into the inners workings of the exploration society they belong to. But as it turns out, the society has some shady dealings afoot. And the disappearance of Ralph and Rachel Helmsley may not have been an accident at all.

While there are consistent themes of friendship across both books, this one branches out in several varied respects. First, there’s Archer’s chance at a relationship with the grandparents his mother has kept him away from since he was a baby. Will they be everything he’s hoped and longed for, or is there something to the rumors swirling about them? There is the mid-book addition of a possible new female member to Archer’s trio of friends. And then there’s the difficult matter of Archer’s boarding school friend and roommate—who happens to be the son of the man the Helmsley’s suspect of arranging the iceberg incident. It’s this last point where Archer is faced with the difficult task of empathizing with someone he cares for, but believes is being misled. It also presents him with an opportunity to NOT judge someone by their family ties—which is a grace he’s not being afforded by most of his own city.

On that last note, it’s worth mentioning that there is an added conflict thread involving a popular local paper that’s willing to leap to accusatory conclusions about the long-lost Helmsleys. The readiness with which most of the city’s population believe this tabloid-worthy gossip is both timely and sadly believable. It also carries alienating consequences for Archer and his friends.

As it was with the first book, Gannon’s illustrations are a tremendously artful source of charm and vintage ambiance. Whether it’s the full page or small portrait segments, black-and-white or richly colored, the detailing is distinct and affecting.

Archer’s mother is still a controlling, wretched, and borderline emotionally abusive source of side antagonism on the outskirts of the main plot. And unfortunately, we aren’t privileged with much by way of character growth in her, or the reasoning behind why she’s so uncaring toward her own parents. But at the same time, she is perhaps a broad-stroke example to young readers of an irrational and callous misuse of parental authority.

Ultimately this seems a more complex story, but one that’s been executed with the same deft quality as the first book in the series.
Report this review Comments (0) | Was this review helpful to you? 2 0

User reviews

There are no user reviews for this listing.
Already have an account? or Create an account
Powered by JReviews

FEATURED GIVEAWAYS

Latest Book Listings Added

A Curse of Roses
 
3.7
 
0.0 (0)
Based on Portuguese legend, this #OwnVoices historical fantasy is an...
I Don't Want to Wash my Hands!
 
3.0
 
0.0 (0)
From beloved children's author and illustrator Tony Ross, comes a...
Dance Like a Leaf
 
5.0
 
0.0 (0)
As her grandmother's health declines, a young girl begins to...
The Bitterwine Oath
 
3.3 (2)
 
0.0 (0)
San Solano, Texas, is a quaint town known for...
Sing Like No One's Listening
 
3.0
 
0.0 (0)
A moving YA debut about a talented young singer...
Heiress Apparently (Daughters of the Dynasty, #1)
 
5.0
 
0.0 (0)
The first book in an epic and romantic YA...
The Good Girls
 
4.0
 
0.0 (0)
One of Us Is Lying meets Sadie in this...
Frozen 2: Dangerous Secrets: The Story of Iduna and Agnarr
 
4.7
 
0.0 (0)
Sixteen-year-old Iduna harbors a dark secret. On the surface,...
The Camelot Betrayal
 
4.7
 
0.0 (0)
The second book in a new fantasy trilogy from...
 
0.0
 
0.0 (0)
Every summer, they say goodbye. Dorit goes to Tel Aviv...
Incredible Animals
 
5.0
 
0.0 (0)
In this illustrated guide, discover fascinating and unusual information about...
Special Delivery
 
4.0
 
0.0 (0)
A lovely book to share with children in an expecting...
Eyelike Stickers: Trains
 
5.0
 
0.0 (0)
Hundreds of irresistible, reusable, and collectible stickers to mix, match,...
 
4.3
 
0.0 (0)
It is twenty years since the events of La Belle...
Winter Light
 
0.0
 
0.0 (0)
WINTER LIGHT is the story of 15-year-old Mary Donahue...
 
0.0
 
0.0 (0)
Fight like a magical girl in this paperback original contemporary...

Latest Member Reviews

I Don't Want to Wash my Hands!
 
3.0
"I DON'T WANT TO WASH MY HANDS is a picture book about the need for frequent hand washing. The little..."
Dance Like a Leaf
 
5.0
"DANCE LIKE A LEAF is a beautiful book about grief and loss of a loved one. A young girl loves..."
Special Delivery
 
4.0
"SPECIAL DELIVERY is a delightfully silly picture book. A little duck is eagerly awaiting the delivery of her baby brother...."
Minecraft: The Shipwreck
 
5.0
"Jake and his father have moved around quite a bit after the death of his mother. His father is a..."
The Tiny Baker
 
5.0
"THE TINY BAKER is the sweet story of a baker bee who runs a bakery and tea shop. Every day,..."
A Gift for Amma: Market Day in India
 
5.0
"A GIFT FOR AMMA is a delightful and colorful journey through the marketplace in India. A young girl ventures out..."
Five Little Ducks: First Book of Nursery Rhymes
 
5.0
"FIVE LITTLE DUCKS is a delightful collection of nursery rhymes. The book includes many rhymes that are familiar alongside those..."
The Bread Pet: A Sourdough Story
 
4.0
"THE BREAD PET is a cute story about Cora, whose favorite uncle asks her to take care of his sourdough..."
Scruff
 
3.5
"SCRUFF is a cute picture book story of a man who gets a scruffy dog, which suits his scruffy style..."
Making Tracks: City
 
5.0
"MAKING TRACKS: CITY is a fun lift-the-flap board book that features tracks and asks who made them. When children lift..."
Amazing Islands
 
4.5
"'Amazing Islands' by Sabrina Weiss and Kerry Hyndman is a beautifully illustrated book, chock full of valuable information about islands..."
The Walrus and the Caribou
 
4.5
"'The Walrus and the Caribou' by Maika Harper, illustrated by Marcus Cutler, is an endearing tale of creation, based on..."
The Boy, the Wolf, and the Stars
 
5.0
"THE BOY, THE WOLF, AND THE STARS is an enchanting middle grade fantasy. Bo was left in the woods as..."
Friend Me
 
5.0
"Roisin has moved from Dublin, Ireland to the Boston area with her mother and older brother Michael. Her mother works..."
Tiger Wild
 
3.0
"TIGER WILD is a picture book about imaginary friends and getting into trouble. Lily always blames her mistakes on Tiger,..."
Bea by the Sea
 
5.0
"BEA BY THE SEA is a sweet picture book about trying new things and making new friends. Bea loves lions..."
Let's Find the Kitten
 
5.0
"LET'S FIND THE KITTEN is a cute hide-and-seek, lift-the-flap board book. Kitten is hiding, but we don't know where. As..."
Winston Wiggles
 
4.0
"WINSTON WIGGLES is a cute book that gives strategies for helping children to settle down when they have the "wiggles."..."
Sweet Dreams: A Goodnight Lullaby
 
4.0
"SWEET DREAMS: A GOODNIGHT LULLABY is a great bedtime book pick for children who love Sesame Street. Sesame Street is..."
Best Friends, Busy Friends
 
4.0
"BEST FRIENDS, BUSY FRIENDS is a fun, rhyming book that celebrates differences and friendship. This book is a poetic rhyme..."