A lot or a little?
The parents' guide to what's in this book.
What parents need to know
Parents need to know that All the Wind in the World, by Samantha Mabry (A Fierce and Subtle Poison), is a romance set in a futuristic desert wasteland. The main characters are on the run from accusations of murder. They share a few passionate embraces, and there are hints they have sex, but it's not described. The violent scenes -- a public execution, a murder, two attacks by swarms of bees -- may disturb some readers. There's occasional strong language (including "s--t" and "f--k").
What's the story?
At the start of ALL THE WIND IN THE WORLD, mixed-race Sarah Jac accidentally causes a death and is forced to flee with her boyfriend, James, who's white, to The Real Marvelous Ranch. People say the ranch is cursed, but Sarah Jac and James need to stay there until they can replenish their cash reserves and head to the ocean in the East. Both start working in the fields, harvesting maguey, which will be turned into mescal. Sarah's recognized for her skill with horses and moves up to the owner's house to teach his difficult younger daughter. But when James catches the eye of the terminally ill older girl, the stage is set for jealousy, misunderstanding, and tragedy.
Is it any good?
This book's distinctive setting distinguishes it from the run-of-the-mill, and its landscape, beaten down by the sun and the wind, mirrors the storm at the heart of the main characters' romance. Author Samantha Mabry keeps the stakes in All the Wind in the World at the level of life and death. And her characters are as vivid and as gritty as the terrain they traverse. Her prose is rich and evocative without seeming overwritten. The plot will keep readers guessing, and some may find the ending unsettling. This stand-alone slice of magical realism is likely to enchant a wide range of readers.
Talk to your kids about ...
Families can talk about how All the Wind in the World presents a future world ravaged by drought. How do you think climate change is affecting the health of our planet?
Can all the events in the novel be explained logically, or is there an element of the supernatural at play in the plot?
How can desperate people be manipulated into believing in witchcraft and prophesies?
- Author: Samantha Mabry
- Genre: Fantasy
- Topics: Magic and Fantasy, Great Girl Role Models, Horses and Farm Animals, Misfits and Underdogs
- Book type: Fiction
- Publisher: Algonquin Young Readers
- Publication date: October 10, 2017
- Number of pages: 288
- Available on: Nook, Audiobook (unabridged), Hardback, iBooks, Kindle
- Last updated: June 19, 2019
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