Book Review: This Was Our Pact

You’ve watched all of Stranger Things, then maybe you did a family re-watch of Goonies. What’s next?

You may want to try this graphic novel. Not only is it an excellent read aloud for all ages, it’ll get you out of a reading slump with a bang. I saw it on a Owlcrate video and snagged it at the library while I was picking up Cybils Awards nominees. It was a sort of send-off book for me as I embark in nearly a two month reading spree where other people choose my books. PSA: It’s not too late for you to nominate your favorite kids book published between Oct 2018- and Oct 2019. Pick me something good in the YA Speculative Fiction section.

Ok, so back to this gem.

It’s so well done, I want to hang the artwork all over my house.

From the publisher:

It’s the night of the annual Autumn Equinox Festival, when the town gathers to float paper lanterns down the river. Legend has it that after drifting out of sight, they’ll soar off to the Milky Way and turn into brilliant stars, but could that actually be true? This year, Ben and his classmates are determined to find out where those lanterns really go, and to ensure success in their mission, they’ve made a pact with two simple rules: No one turns for home. No one looks back.

The plan is to follow the river on their bikes for as long as it takes to learn the truth, but it isn’t long before the pact is broken by all except for Ben and (much to Ben’s disappointment) Nathaniel, the one kid who just doesn’t seem to fit in.

Together, Nathaniel and Ben will travel farther than anyone has ever gone, down a winding road full of magic, wonder, and unexpected friendship*.

*And a talking bear.

I read most of this book while I was sick with a fever and feel like it was like reading a Hayao Miyazaki film. It’s so full of bite sized wisdom like:

“No one is going to force you to, but if you don’t jump in, you’ll always think back on this moment and wish that you had.”

All together suitable for all ages, spooky without being scary. Tons to talk about while reading. It checks all my boxes for the perfect October read aloud.

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