Monday, April 26, 2021

Book Review: 'Amber and Clay' by Laura Amy Schlitz

✰✰✰✰½ Travel back in time to Ancient Greece through the poetry and prose of Newbery Medal Winner Laura Amy Schlitz. It was a time when people were restricted to the boundaries of class. A time when households owned slaves. Melisto was born into a noble family, but unloved by her mother; while Rhaskos was born to a slave woman, who loved him with all her heart. This girl and boy with nothing in common would someday forge a friendship that would free them both. This is their story told in their voices and in the voices of others like the Greek god Hermes and the philosopher Sokrates. This haunting tale of a wellborn girl and a slave boy illustrates power of friendship and love that knows no bounds.

The Bottom Line: Don't be dissuaded from picking up this book because of its page count; the mix of poetry, prose, and illustrations of archaeological exhibits makes for quick reading. The author deftly transforms the reader into the audience, and the story is like watching a play. Once I started reading, I was transfixed. Very highly recommended for young adults and adult interested in historical fiction, Greek mythology, and supernatural tales of friendship. 

Details: Amber and Clay written by Laura Amy Schlitz & illustrated by Julia Iredale. Advance reading copy published by Candlewick Press in 2021. 544 p. ISBN: 978-5362-0122-2 

[NOTE: I received a free copy from the publisher in exchange for an honest review. This was made possible by the Early Reviewers Program at LibraryThing. Some interior images were not final at the time this review was written.] 

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