Hannah loves her father and worries about him all the time, after all he is a photographer who travels to some of the most dangerous places. She has a closet full of magic souvenirs he has brought her: Pandora’s Box, the Seal of Solomon, the Golden Fleece of Colchis and Aladdin’s Lamp, although she doesn’t believe in the magic herself. Then on assignment in Baghdad, her father is killed and Hannah uses Aladdin’s Lamp to make a wish. The Ugly Teapot by Fred Holmes is about so much more than just a magic lamp and a genie, although the magic realism in the story is brilliant fun, it is a story of family and how to handle loss. Holmes creates a rich landscape full of magic and adventure, nonstop action, but also characters that make you stop and think. There is Hannah, who seems both older than her 14 years and so much younger. She loves unconditionally and is incredibly brave, but does not know how to deal with the death of her father. The villain is wonderful in this book, a frightening presence always there, pursuing the good guys. While Hannah has a close relationship with her father and feels like he is the one she wants to emulate, with his adventures and ability to see the world through his camera, I loved Hannah’s mother. Her mom was the parent left behind to raise a family on next to nothing and it wasn’t until the very end that Hannah truly appreciated the bond she had with her mom. The plot twist at the end took the book from a fun enjoyable read to a timeless novel of family and loss.
Published by Sarah BooksBeforeBandaids