Chat with us, powered by LiveChat

Voyages in the Underworld of Orpheus Black



by
Marcus Sedgwick ,Julius Sedgwick
illustrated by
Alexis Deacon

Edition
Hardcover edition
Publisher
Candlewick
Imprint
Candlewick
ISBN
9781536204377
POTENTIALLY SENSITIVE AREAS
Violence: War/Harsh Realities of War, Language: Homophobic Slur, Language: Mild Language, Violence: Mild Violence, Drugs/Alcohol/Tobacco: Alcohol Abuse, Discrimination: Racial Insensitivity/Racism
$7.20   $6.00
SEE MEMBER PRICE
QTY

JLG Category

Young Adults Plus

Brothers Marcus and Julian Sedgwick team up to pen this haunting tale of another pair of brothers, caught between life and death in World War II. Harry Black, a conscientious objector, artist, and firefighter battling the blazes of German bombing in London in 1944, wakes in the hospital to news that his soldier brother, Ellis, has been killed. In the delirium of his wounded state, Harry’s mind begins to blur the distinctions between the reality of war-torn London, the fiction of his unpublished sci-fi novel, and the myth of Orpheus and Eurydice. Driven by visions of Ellis still alive and a sense of poetic inevitability, Harry sets off on a search for his brother that will lead him deep into the city’s Underworld. With otherworldly paintings by Alexis Deacon depicting Harry’s surreal descent further into the depths of hell, this eerily beautiful blend of prose, verse, and illustration delves into love, loyalty, and the unbreakable bonds of brotherhood as it builds to a fierce indictment of mechanized warfare.

Two-color illustrations done in acrylic ink, watercolor, charcoal, and gouache.

POTENTIALLY SENSITIVE AREAS
Violence: War/Harsh Realities of War, Language: Homophobic Slur, Language: Mild Language, Violence: Mild Violence, Drugs/Alcohol/Tobacco: Alcohol Abuse, Discrimination: Racial Insensitivity/Racism

Details

Format

Print

Page Count

320

Trim Size

6 3/4" x 8 1/2"

Dewey

F

AR

5.4: points 6

Lexile

760L

Genre

Fiction

Scholastic Reading Counts

0

JLG Release

Oct 2019

Book Genres


Topics

World War II (1939–1945). London, England. London Blitz (bombing campaign), 1940–1941. Brothers. Conscientious objectors. Art and artists. Orpheus. Greek mythology. Underground areas. Magical realism. Death.

Standard MARC Records

Download Standard MARC Records

Cover Art

Download Cover Art

Praise & Reviews

Starred or favorable reviews have been received from these periodicals:

Booklist*, School Library Journal

School Library Journal

Harry Black, a young firefighter in World War II–era Britain, is at odds with his family. Harry’s father is a weapons manufacturer. Disgusted by his family’s complicity, Harry registers as a conscientious objector. One fateful night, Harry is gravely injured in the blastback from a V2 rocket that hits a pub he has recently left—a pub where his beloved brother, Ellis, was lingering after the siblings argued. Harry, an artist and sensitive soul, had been journaling about this attempted reconciliation and after the V2 hits, this journal becomes a record of his laborious search for his brother, whom he believes has somehow survived the rocket’s devastating blow. Alternating between Harry’s drawing-laden journal entries and poems “sung” to the reader by Orpheus, storied psychopomp of Greek mythology, the novel’s theme is obvious from the jump: war is hell. Harry’s memories of his adventures, juxtaposed with Orpheus’s poetic renderings, create a dreamlike quality with a Pan’s Labyrinth–ian feel. The marriage of fantastical elements with the atrocities of war is not new, nor is World War II an unexplored literary topic, but this triptych treatment is interesting. The message could have been delivered with a lighter touch, but readers who enjoy their war stories steeped in philosophy will walk away satisfied. A recommended purchase. Hand to fans of Markus Zusak’s The Book Thief and even Kurt Vonnegut’s Slaughterhouse-Five.

Praise & Reviews

School Library Journal

Harry Black, a young firefighter in World War II–era Britain, is at odds with his family. Harry’s father is a weapons manufacturer. Disgusted by his family’s complicity, Harry registers as a conscientious objector. One fateful night, Harry is gravely injured in the blastback from a V2 rocket that hits a pub he has recently left—a pub where his beloved brother, Ellis, was lingering after the siblings argued. Harry, an artist and sensitive soul, had been journaling about this attempted reconciliation and after the V2 hits, this journal becomes a record of his laborious search for his brother, whom he believes has somehow survived the rocket’s devastating blow. Alternating between Harry’s drawing-laden journal entries and poems “sung” to the reader by Orpheus, storied psychopomp of Greek mythology, the novel’s theme is obvious from the jump: war is hell. Harry’s memories of his adventures, juxtaposed with Orpheus’s poetic renderings, create a dreamlike quality with a Pan’s Labyrinth–ian feel. The marriage of fantastical elements with the atrocities of war is not new, nor is World War II an unexplored literary topic, but this triptych treatment is interesting. The message could have been delivered with a lighter touch, but readers who enjoy their war stories steeped in philosophy will walk away satisfied. A recommended purchase. Hand to fans of Markus Zusak’s The Book Thief and even Kurt Vonnegut’s Slaughterhouse-Five.

Grades 9 & Up
Young Adults Plus
For Grades 9 & Up

Why stop there? Give them double the literary rewards with our Yp category-where you can stock your shelves with 14 additional young adult titles every year.

14 books per Year
$285.46 per Year
Interests
Diversity,Fiction,Mature Readers,LGBTQ+,Novels,Funny/Humorous,Realistic Fiction
Like this book?
Get more like this every month.
LEARN MORE
Grades 9 & Up
Young Adults Plus
14 books per Year
$285.46 per Year

Other Recommended Titles From Young Adults Plus

The Hunger Between Us

by Marina Scott

Young Adults Plus

January 2023

After Dark with Roxie Clark

by Brooke Lauren Davis

Young Adults Plus

December 2022

Snitchers

by Stephane Dunn

Young Adults Plus

November 2022

Young Adults Plus

October 2022
Copyright © 2017 Magento, Inc. All rights reserved.