Benji and Red couldn't be more different. They aren't friends. They don't even live in the same town. But their fates are entwined. A chance meeting leads the boys to discover that they have more in common than meets the eye. Both of them have encountered a strange presence in the forest, watching them, tracking them. Could the Madman of Piney Woods be real?
In a tale brimming with intrigue and adventure, Christopher Paul Curtis returns to the vibrant world he brought to life in Elijah of Buxton. Here is another novel that will break your heart -- and expand it, too.
CHRISTOPHER PAUL CURTIS was awarded both a Newbery Honor and a Coretta Scott King Honor for his debut book The Watsons Go to Birmingham and won the Newbery Medal and the Coretta Scott King Award for his second book, Bud, Not Buddy. Mr. Curtis is also the author of the Golden Kite Award-winning Bucking the Sarge, as well as Mr. Chickee's Funny Money, Mr. Chickee's Messy Mission, and Elijah of Buxton. A longtime resident of Windsor, Ontario, he now lives in Detroit, Michigan. His website is www.nobodybutcurtis.com.
Praise for The Madman of Piney Woods:
* "Curtis masterfully interweaves goofy family vignettes, memorable characters, and thought-provoking themes into a page-turner with appeal to multiple audiences and tastes. . . This will be a strong recom- mendation for families in search of materials to enjoy together "-Bulletin of the Center for Children's Books
* "In this crisp, wise, and beautifully constructed novel, Curtis . . . uses the past as a lens through which we see ongoing human dilemmas . . . but [his] well-placed humour keeps pulling us back from the edge of darkness, allowing us to laugh even as we learn." -Quill & Quire, starred review
* "Humor and tragedy are often intertwined, and readers will find themselves sobbing and chuckling, sometimes in the same scene . . . Beautiful storytelling as only Curtis can do it." -Kirkus, starred review
* "A journey of revelation and insight. Woven throughout this profoundly moving yet also at times very funny novel are themes of family, friendship, community, compassion, and, fittingly, the power of words." -Horn Book, starred review
* "The author's obvious love for his characters, his skillful use of sentiment, and his often hyperbolic humor . . . is, in short, quintessential Curtis, sure to please his legions of fans and to cultivate new ones." -Booklist, starred review
"There's a thrill ride of a plot that flirts with a perilous adult-level depiction of tragedy, but banks away into something manageable for a 9-year-old. Even-ahem-a sensitive middle-aged man will be entertained but not traumatized by the books memorably shocking events[.]"-The New York Times Book Review
"Suspense and surprises keep this story popping along, but its real momentum is generated by the personable, complex characters of the two boys, the family relationships, and the challenging themes Curtis explores...Excellent fare." -The Toronto Star