When Yeats and his parents visit his grandmother's creepy old house, Yeats reunites a pair of pirate bookends and uncovers the amazing truth: Years ago, Yeats's father traveled into The Arabian Nights with a friend, and the friend, Shari, is still stuck in the tales. Assisted by the not-always-trustworthy pirates, Yeats must navigate the unfamiliar world of the story of Shaharazad--dodging guards and tigers and the dangerous things that lurk in the margins of the stories--in order to save Shari and bring peace to his family.
David Ward has created a fantasy rich with atmosphere and full of heart-stopping drama.
Praise for Between Two Ends
“A book about a book within a book. Ward presents just enough of an outline of the traditional Arabian Nights frame story to set the stage for modern readers, while creating his own fantasy within the fantasy to grab their attention.” –Kirkus Reviews
“A satisfying chapterbook fantasy.” –Booklist
“Both the fantastical and the real settings are well developed. The gruff and amusing bookend pirates are the perfect mix of heroism and pragmatism to complement Yeats.” –The Bulletin of the Center for Children’s Books
In a story that's entertaining, despite occasionally painful subject matter, 12-year-old Yeats Trafford has never understood why his father, a university professor, suffers from a lifelong, crippling depression, which has strained his parents' marriage. Upon visiting his grandmother's mysterious old house for the first time, however, he discovers that, in childhood, his father and a friend named Shari had been magically transported into a copy of The Arabian Nights, aided by a pair of animated pirate bookends. There, Shari, who had recently lost her parents, took on the role of Shaharazad and refused to return, leaving his father guilt-stricken. Now Yeats, again aided by the pirates he "was certain, bookends or no, they were capable of handling themselves in a fight" must enter that magical world and convince Shari both of who she really is and of the importance of returning to the outside world. Somewhat reminiscent of Rushdie's Haroun and the Sea of Stories, Ward's (the Grassland Trilogy) tale should be appreciated by preteens for whom Disney's Aladdin has already served as a gateway to The Arabian Nights. Ages 8 12.