Between Two Ends by David Ward (NY: Amulet Books, 2011) [reviewed from ARC provided by publisher].
Yeats and his parents haven't visited his grandmother for years, years in which his father has slowly disintegrated, his mind plagued away by the memory of the past disappearance of his friend Shari in this very house. Shari's father still lives there, desperate for resolution. He mutters a few cryptic words, and Yeats confronts his parents, who refuse to talk. Then Yeats hears a voice coming out of the abandoned well in the backyard and unearths an old pirate bookend that, when united with its mate in the library, casts Yeats into The Arabian Nights. There he must convince Shari, now called Shaharazad, that she belongs in his world, not this one, before the story swallows--or even kills--him as well.
Ward has crafted a highly allusive, action-packed fantasy adventure. Yeats is an unwilling hero, compelled by his love for his father and then by his feelings for Shari to battle wild fictional forces as well as real live scimitar-wielding palace guards. This is an awesome read, highly recommended for upper elementary, ages 10 & up.
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