Y’all this was so good. So, so good. It was like the best of what I love about Stephen King novels — grand, sweeping adventures like Dark Tower or The Talisman that focus on young kids getting wrapped up in mythology and having to save the world. It reminded me quite a bit of Neil Gaiman’s American Gods as well — mythology in the modern world, the old gods forced to adapt to the new. A Michael Chabon treatment of this kind of adventure? Sign me up!
“Mr. Feld was right; life was like baseball, filled with loss and error, with bad hops and wild pitches, a game in which even champions lost almost as often as they won, and even the best hitters were put out seventy percent of the time.”
Summerland is about an 11 year old boy named Ethan Feld who plays baseball, despite his total lack of skill. His father is a dreamer, obsessed with the idea of a family version of a blimp. Ethan is chosen, along with other members of his team, to save the world from Ragged Rock, the end of it all. He teams up with Jennifer T. (a bad ass chick from his baseball team) and a kid named Thor, who’s basically a human android. They travel into a parallel universe and meet quite the cast of characters.
I guess this could be considered young adult fiction, but it’s miles beyond most entries into that category. I would have loved it as a young adult, but as a 28 year old, I enjoyed it just as much. It’s very much a story about camaraderie, and growing up, and family. Really an excellent read.