Posted in 2014-2015 Club, Not Mock Newbery

The Nethergrim, by Matthew Jobin

NethergrimSummary:  An evil force has been awakened from years of sleep and it is up to fourteen-year-old Edmund, an aspiring sorcerer, and his friends to stop it.

Philomel

Find it at WCPL

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3 thoughts on “The Nethergrim, by Matthew Jobin

  1. This book is very captivating. Three friends, Tom, Edmund, and Katherine, rise to the challenge to defeat an evil force, save seven children, and solve some mysteries surrounding the frightening Nethergrim. The story is told from third person unlimited. In the beginning of the book, when the main characters are separated, it makes the storyline a little bit jumbled. However, the author still managed to inform the reader(very clearly)on new developments in the plot. The third person unlimited also allowed the reader to see the main characters up close and personal, which later contributed to their developing. The Nethergrim is full of excitement and battles, making it very entertaining but lacking in theme. This book is perfect for anyone looking for a good book that will draw them in, but because this book is not very deep, I’m afraid it might not be a contender for Newbery.

    1. This is an interesting review! However I felt differently about it regarding themes and depth. In my opinion the book is very philosophically deep especially for a middle grade book. For example some of the themes I perceived were:
      1. relationships of children and parents – how parents may want what is best for their children but may find it difficult to let them find their own path and become their own person.
      2. the motivation for evil – why do people do bad things? In many children’s books evil is simple – monsters are just evil. In this book one of the villains has a very well reasoned rationale for what he does… which makes him rather chilling. And the voice of the main villain is very convincing. The heroes must find their own reasons to resist.
      3. metaphysical themes introduced in the discussion of magic – what is the nature of reality, how can it be influenced, how can magic be potentially consistent with the laws of science (conservation of energy for example).
      4. Culture and history – how it can be difficult to understand a past culture based on only written records and artifacts. What were people really like, what did they think about and what was their daily life like? Edmund has to think about these questions to solve a mystery.

      In addition, the book was very well written and has great character development. All considered, I think this book has all the elements of a Newbery winner!

      1. I most certainly agree with you T. These themes are present in the book. But in my opinion, the book was written more like an action novel, and did not dwell on the themes enough for my taste. Nevertheless, thank you for introducing these themes to me(themes are not my forte) and opening up a new side of the book.

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