Friday, May 17, 2024

Movies Showing Nowhere by Yorick Goldewijk

 I might be jumping things a bit with today's doesn't hit the shelves until October. Well, that's if you don't speak Dutch. This book was released in 2021 and was suppose to hit the English speaking world the beginning of last month...but didn't make it thanks to a shifting schedule. Whoever thinks the publishing realm is easy or predictable, has simply missed the mark. So now, it appears to be hitting the world this coming Fall, but I couldn't wait to read it until then because it really looks that good.

by Yorick Goldewijk
Translated by Laura Watkinson
Pushkin Children's Books
Middle Grade Fantasy
256 pages
ages 8 to 12

OCTOBER 1st!!!

A prizewinning middle grade fantasy adventure about memories, loss and time travel.

On the day Cato came into the world, her mother left it. Cato's dad has been a mere shadow of a person ever since, and Cato has given up reaching out to him. When she finds a mysterious card from an abandoned movie theatre and discovers it has reopened, Cato decides to go take a look. There appears to be something strange about the cinema. The movies showing there are no ordinary movies and somehow the cinema seems to be in connection with the past...

Looking for adventure and the truth about her mother, Cato is swept into a dangerous journey through time and memories, straight to a place deep within her heart. A place she had always managed to keep locked away. And then she faces a choice that will change her life, and that of her father, forever.



The mysterious atmosphere of old theaters meets a fantastical journey into memories to create an adventurous read with tons of heart.

The day Cato was born, her mother died, and this has hung over her and her father's heads their entire lives. He barely recognizes her existence and the only reason things run somewhat smoothly is thanks to the busy-body neighbor, who seems to think she's part of the family. Cato wishes everything could change. When she discovers a card announcing the opening of the old cinema, her curiosity leads her to the theater where she meets the new owner. Cato agrees to work for cinema and soon learns that only one visitor comes each day, and that the movie screen isn't what it appears to be. Instead, it's the portal into memories...and the owner of the cinema claims it's part of Cato's job to step into it.

It's no wonder that this book has won several prizes. The writing flows very well (kudos to the translator). The story carries that magical touch to invite to dreams. Cato is a kind girl, who is at odds with the world around her. She's a bit prickly because of that but in a way which makes her easy to sympathize with.  The characters around her don't really gain as much depth in the same way, but this is also the heart of the plot. It's a tale of discovery as she learns more about the people around her and, therefore, about herself.

Everything about this read carries a lightly mysterious and magical flair. From the secretive neighbor, who seems to be hiding an agenda, to the odd old woman on the street, nothing is as it seems. Then, there's the old cinema with its amazing eerie atmosphere. Even without tons of descriptions, the author brings the dusty, historic building across vividly, creating a setting which invites to adventure. Readers will wish they could visit it themselves and wonder why anyone would be willing to drink squash juice served with popcorn. 

The story rounds off very well by the end and creates a read with tons of heart, which surrounds loss and how circumstances can change a person's view on life. There were a couple hiccups on the logic end, but these barely surface thanks to the smoothness of the rest of the read. It's a lovely, fantastical journey with heart, which touches on a difficult theme and offers hope.

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