Between the Lines

 

by Jodi Picoult & Samantha Van Leer

 

illustrated by

 

Yvonne Gilbert and Scott M. Fischer

 

EmilyBestler Books

 

Reader Appeal: Tweens and young Teens

 

Genre: Fantasy

 

PopFam Rating: A

 

There is always something particularly magical about a classic fairytale. The princess and the prince, the evil villain, the happily ever after. Sometimes there is suspense and there is always action and adventure with a twinge of romance. A classic fairytale is always refreshing and nice, but in the book Between the Lines, readers are encouraged to indulge in a new kind of enchanted story with a very clever modern day twist.

 

The story begins with Prince Oliver, a prince in a story book. He is an illustrated prince that has a separate life when the book is closed. Think of it like the toys from Toy Story. The toys can move and think on their own when the child is not in the room. Similarly, the illustrated characters of Oliver’s book can move, think, and explore the book when the Reader is not reading. Oliver is very fascinated by the outside world of the Readers. So far, he has been unsuccessful in engaging in any form of contact with the outside world; that is until a particular reader, Delilah, opens his book.

 

Delilah is a high school student who begins reading the book and falls in love with it, or rather what is in it. Delilah is the only Reader that Oliver can talk to, and soon the pair devotes every second to talking with each other and spending time together. When the idea comes up that maybe Oliver could leave his story book and become part of Delilah’s world, both are ready and willing to try whatever it takes. After several failed attempts to retrieve Oliver from his world, things look desperate. The two want terribly find a way to bring Oliver out of his book, but maybe happy ever after doesn’t exist for everyone. Can love really find a way to place a high school no-body and a prince from a book together?

 

The writing style of this book was very good. It provided fun characters and enough description for a reader to place himself/herself in the story. It was a fun story to read and had a light-hearted feel about it that kept the reader seeking a happy ending. The content is completely family friendly as Delilah and Oliver share only two innocent kisses throughout the book. The only place that might cause issue to some parents is the fact that the mermaids in the book kiss people to provide them with oxygen to breathe under water. There is a villain who fights Oliver a few times during the course of the story, but is characterized as an art lover and painter when the book is closed and is actually quite nice. There is a dragon with which Oliver also fights once whose name is Pyro. He too is innocent. There is a brief scene with a wizard (who does indeed practice magic) where a box that contains “Pandemonium” is released in his cottage. This scene is not graphic and contains no talk or description of demons and I believe is perfectly ok for younger readers.

 

This book is completely kid appropriate and children would love it. It is fun and light hearted with a touch of danger and adventure. It is a fairytale story that anyone can relate to. The modern day aspect of it is cleaver and relatable to kids, teenagers and even adults. Everyone deserves a happily ever after but first you have to start with the fairy tale.

 

Let’s Talk About It

 

If your family members are interested in this book, then encourage discussion about it afterward. You can use these questions to get started:

 

• In the novel, Delilah can talk to the characters in the book. If you could have the pictures in one of your favorite books talk to you, what book would it be? Who would talk to you? What would they say?

 

• Has there ever been a time you wish you could join a story book?

 

• What do you think happened to Oliver and Delilah? Were they truly in love?

 

--BB

 

Note: All product-related graphics in this article are standard publicity/promotional shots and are owned by their respective publisher.

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