Bridge of Clay

By: Markus Zusak

Orphaned by fate and fecklessness, Clay Dunbar and his four brothers have had to raise themselves. When their father finally returns, Clay makes a choice that might heal their broken family.

ISBN: 9780375945595

JLG Release: Dec 2018


Sensitive Areas: Mild sexual themes, Strong language, Underage smoking, Domestic abuse, Sexual harassment, Homophobia
Topics: Brothers , Abandoned children , Secrets , Family life , Design and construction of bridges

$16.30  Member Price


Add to Wishlist

Like this book? Get more like it every month.

Mature Young Adults Plus

Grades 11 & Up

14 titles/year

$235.90/year

Praise & Reviews

Starred or favorable reviews have been received from these periodicals:

Publishers Weekly*, Booklist*, The Horn Book Magazine, School Library Journal

School Library Journal

An epic tale about grief, loss, and reconciliation. The Dunbar brood has fended for itself ever since their mother died from cancer and their father abandoned them. The five young men lead practically lawless lives in a ramshackle house filled to the brim with dirty dishes and stray animals. Their haphazard existence is interrupted by the return of An epic tale about grief, loss, and reconciliation. The Dunbar brood has fended for itself ever since their mother died from cancer and their father abandoned them. The five young men lead practically lawless lives in a ramshackle house filled to the brim with dirty dishes and stray animals. Their haphazard existence is interrupted by the return of their estranged father, who hopes to build a stone bridge with the help of his offspring. Clay is the only sibling who agrees to help. This hefty tome jumps across multiple time lines, from their mother’s escape from Eastern Europe to her heartbreaking illness and from the father’s abandonment to the present day, in which the eldest brother Matthew, now in his 30s, is recording their story on an old typewriter. Heavily influenced by the Homeric poems that the family enjoys, the plot is teeming with metaphors and episodic feats. Clay, the focus of the novel, takes on a mythic sheen in Matthew’s recounting that will remind YA fans of Jerry Spinelli’s Maniac Magee or Craig Silvey’s Jasper Jones. The narrative becomes unwieldy in places because of the evocative prose, and sometimes the family saga is overpowered by various subplots. Even though bits of humor and one-liners leaven the work, the testosterone-infused dialogue may turn off some teens. VERDICT Give this to strong readers who enjoy weighty coming-of-age novels that blur the line between young adult and adult fiction.–Shelley M. Diaz, School Library Journal

Horn Book

Twelve years after the publication of The Book Thief (rev. 3/06), Zusak returns with an epic saga of five rambunctious Australian brothers, their long-suffering parents, and the bonds of love that tie them together. Matthew Dunbar, the eldest brother, narrates this story in an elliptical, digressive, somewhat frustratingly enigmatic style that rang Twelve years after the publication of The Book Thief (rev. 3/06), Zusak returns with an epic saga of five rambunctious Australian brothers, their long-suffering parents, and the bonds of love that tie them together. Matthew Dunbar, the eldest brother, narrates this story in an elliptical, digressive, somewhat frustratingly enigmatic style that ranges among the past, present, and future of all characters with an inexplicably high degree of omniscience. “In the beginning there was one murderer, one mule and one boy, but this isn’t the beginning, it’s before it, it’s me, and I’m Matthew, and here I am, in the kitchen, in the night—the old river mouth of light—and I’m punching and punching away.” The prose ebbs and flows, cascading through long and short sentences, fragments, clipped paragraphs, and staccato rhythms. The distinctly Australian landscape is fully realized, and the supporting characters (a very large number of them) are convincing in their brief cameos, but like the impressionistic vignettes that make up the plot, they are subsumed by the heftier elements. These include themes of love, forgiveness, redemption—and journeys; striking imagery and symbolism, especially in relation to the titular bridge; abundant literary allusions, particularly to The Odyssey and The Iliad; and an atmosphere that is so meditative and elegiac that it’s practically palpable. But while Zusak is a talented writer, the self-indulgent prose asphyxiates any semblance of good storytelling, making this book too demanding for most readers, regardless of age. jonathan hunt

Book Details

ISBN

9780375945595

First Release

December 2018

Genre

Fic

Dewey Classification

F

Trim Size

9" x 6"

Page Count

544

Accelerated Reader

Level 5.3; Points: 19;

Scholastic Reading Counts

Level 0; Points: 0;

Lexile

Level HL650L

Format

Print Book

Edition

Hardcover edition

Publisher

Knopf

Potentially Sensitive Areas

Mild sexual themes, Strong language, Underage smoking, Domestic abuse, Sexual harassment, Homophobia

Topics

Brothers, Abandoned children, Secrets, Family life, Design and construction of bridges,

Standard MARC Record

Download Standard MARC Record

Cover Art

Download Cover Art

Recommended Titles From Mature Young Adults Plus

Mature Young Adults Plus

$16.85

Mature Young Adults Plus

$16.85

Black Enough

by Ibi Zoboi

Mature Young Adults Plus

$16.85

Pulp

by Robin Talley

Mature Young Adults Plus

$16.85
Copyright © 2017 Magento, Inc. All rights reserved.