Review by Leydy
by Kirsten Hubbard
Age Range: 8 - 12 years
Grade Level: 3 - 7
Hardcover: 272 pages
Publisher: Disney-Hyperion (April 7, 2015)
Goodreads | Amazon
The signs are everywhere, Jory's stepfather, Caleb, says. Red leaves in the springtime. Pages torn from a library book. All the fish in an aquarium facing the same way. A cracked egg with twin yolks. Everywhere and anywhere. And because of them, Jory's life is far from ordinary. He must follow a very specific set of rules: don't trust anyone outside the family, have your work boots at the ready just in case, and always, always watch out for the signs. The end is coming, and they must be prepared.
School is Jory's only escape from Caleb's tight grasp. With the help of new friends, he begins to explore a world beyond his family's farm. Then Caleb notifies the family that the time has come for final preparations: digging in their backyard canyon at night. Every night.
As the hole gets deeper, so does Jory's doubt about whether Caleb's prophecy is true. When the real reason for their digging becomes clear, Jory must choose between living his own life or following behind Caleb, shutting his eyes to the bright world he's just begun to see.
Watch the Sky is rather strange. The vibe, the story, the characters… all strange. It even starts strange. “It’s arrived”. What arrived? As you continue the story, we learn that its a sign. A paper? No. Maybe? The whole family wants to know. As a reader, I want to know. They all march downstairs to the patio at dawn to know the sign. A sign that will tell Caleb, Jory’s stepfather, the “truth”. A secret that is kept from Jory.
Unfortunately, for the family, these signs are everywhere. Driving them insane. Insane to dig, again at dawn. Dig, dig, dig. This is what they do at late hours. Crazy hours that are killing Jory’s grade. His teacher start questioning him. Poor Jory, with no friends and now bad grades. He wants to be good. He wants to improve. But things at home are not good. As he befriends a lovable girl, he start to spill things. Things that are meant to be kept as secrets. According to Caleb that is. As she challenges the way he thinks, Jory begins to see differently. Which may get him in trouble with Caleb.
I confess, I did read this in one sitting. I wanted to know what Caleb was up to. When it was time for the revelation… I was puzzled. Still am. Not sure why he would think of such things...
I realized kids are easy to manipulate. This is what happened to Jory. However, I do not understand how his mother was so easy to follow Caleb blindly. This is my biggest issue with this book. I did like when Jory started to question Caleb’s sanity. He followed his guts and boy, glad he did!
While I did like the story, I do believe this could’ve handled differently. It’s a short novel but Jory’s journey is long. Overall, worth the read.
Blogger & Book Reviewer, Once Upon a Twilight