Marcus Sedgwick’s Midwinterblood is captivating! I grabbed it off the shelf at my library as soon as I heard the announcement. It is one of those books that cannot be explained, you just have to read and experience it for yourself. The book is told in short stories. It reminds me of Cloud Atlas and one of my favorite TV shows, Lost. I tried reading Cloud Atlas and got stuck in the density. However Midwinterblood has all of the creative story weaving without getting a reader like myself bogged down in details. The stories follow the phases of the moon and jump around centuries. Eric is a character who emerges in each of the stories. The story is beautifully crafted and fits together. The stories span from a 10th century vampire to the far future of the 2070’s, all involving this island. I found myself saying “a-ha” to myself as a new layer of this story is revealed. I highly recommend this. I’m not sure how it fits into the teen category. I would recommend it more to adults or a teen with highly sophisticated reading tastes.
Some ideas for discussing with teens:
Discuss the app One Degree. If this existed, would you use it? Why or why not?
Talk about Eric Seven’s relationship with Merle.
Talk about Eric and Merle’s relationships and how they change through the stories.
How does the island’s flower play into each of the stories?
What are your thoughts about the discovery in the meadow?
Why do you think Eric’s story keeps bringing him back to the island?
Discuss how the name of the island changed throughout the story.
Discuss Eric’s reoccurring phrase, “Well, so it is.”
What do you think will happen after the events in the final chapter?