professornana (professornana) wrote,

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books that make you go hmmm...............

Last but not least is the new YA from Jack Gantos. THE LOVE CURSE OF THE RUMBAUGHS is an eerie and weird look at a family and its complex relationships. Ivy lives with her mother in the Kelly Hotel directly across the street from the pharmacy owned and operated by twins Abner and Adolf Rumbaugh. The story jumps between Ivy's story as a child and the story as she reaches her late teens. Ivy adores hanging out with the Rumbaugh twins despite their proclivities for strange hobbies and strange behavior until one fateful Easter she discovers that the twins have used their skills at taxidermy to stuff and preserve their own mother. Somehow, Ivy manages to move past her horror at the accidental discovery and begins to try her own hand at taxidermy creating scenes of Cinderella weeping for her lost mother (stuffed squirrel) and Bambi (rabbit) and other representations of missing mothers. When Ivy learns on her 16th birthday that one of the twins is her own father, she is not quite as shocked as she might have been once. Has the curse of the Rumbaughs been passed along to Ivy? One will, as the old saw goes in booktalking, have to read the book to find out the answer to that question and many others.

Gantos has created a riveting read that comes close to repulsing readers (at least this one) with its almost clinical examination of the strange nature of the Rumbaughs and particularly the twins. You feel at once compelled and repelled by the Ab and Doplh. They are clever and perhaps diabolical. Yet, you are fascinated by their deeds. And of course, you have to see what will happen to Ivy. This book will be one we will have to bring to readers who might walk past the cover and the odd title. However, there are some dandy read alouds that might just lure readers into the strangely compelling world Gantos has created.

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