Gannon, Nicholas. The Doldrums. Greenwillow Books, 2015. $17.99. ISBN 9780062320940. 368 pgs. Ages 8-12. P8Q9.
Archer’s adventuring grandparents are missing and presumed dead. The lonely boy can’t quite believe it’s true, and when a box is delivered from his grandparents, he knows they must be alive. He and his two unusual friends, Adelaide and Oliver, begin to plan a great adventure to rescue the two travelers from an iceberg in Antarctica. After a while, we see that the focus of this book isn’t really the adventure itself, but the planning and friendship that develops among these three lonely children. The author does a great job with character development, and I found the personalities of the three kids really appealing. The atmosphere is dark, quirky, and humorous; this is added to by the adults in the story who all seem to be “types” (mostly unpleasant types) and aren’t very helpful toward the children. The art work is wonderful- a lot of it is full color, and there are some black and white bits too. I really enjoyed this book and think it will do well with middle school age children who like interesting characters, but don’t demand a lot of action.
December 2015 review by Carol Schramm.