October 29, 2012 by Alice in Readerland
Eliza Wolcott’s supposed fun-in-the-sun summer vacation on Orcas Island with her aunt and uncle quickly turns into a season of assuming responsibility as she is forced by her uncle to get a summer job. Eliza initially resists but ends up utilizing her talent as an artist and accepts a job as a “natural history illustrator” for the local eccentric Orville Tanner. While Mr. Tanner is strange and gruff, Eliza finds his grandson, Charlie, to be friendly and handsome. As the summer progresses Eliza finds herself illustrating peculiar finds from the geologic past. Guided by curiosity and an uncanny sense that something is very different about the Tanner family, Eliza begins to snoop around for information and unlocks the details of the Tanner family secret. Taking the form of a journal, this novel is embellished with exceptional illustrations as Eliza chronicles her summer adventures.
Title: Eliza’s Journal
Author: Caelyn AB Williams
Illustrator: Kati Green
Published by: Craigmore Creations
Pages (On Hardcover): 192, 14 B&W illustrated pages
Category: Juvenile Fiction
Pub Date: October 12, 2012
What made me pick up this book was the fact that it was set on Orcas Island, a place that my friends and family members have visited, constantly rave about, and have shown me so many beautiful pictures of; but what made me keep reading was Eliza’s slightly sarcastic and completely likeable voice.
The first thing we hear Eliza say is “There are certain things that happen to one’s sanity after long periods of time on a bus.” From there on, she chronicles her bus ride, her arrival at her Aunt and Uncle’s, her introduction to the mysterious Tanner family, her work as a natural history illustrator, and her attempts to find out the Tanner family secret. What I really liked about Eliza’s journal is it honestly reads just like I’m reading my friend’s journal. Her voice is honest, likeable, funny, and believably coming from a girl “the plus end of fifteen”, as Eliza puts it. The drawings throughout the book were fun and the story will also keep you reading to find out what the Tanner family secret is.
Cynical Cindy Says:
The plot twist in this story is such a game changer (in my opinion) and is so big that I wish it made an earlier appearance in the story. Yes, some clues were dropped, but I feel that the plot twist was too big of a deal to just throw in towards the end as the first part of the book ran a bit slow for me.
All in all, an enjoyable read.
3 out of 5 teacups.
Watch the book trailer for Eliza’s Journal on the Craigmore Creations site here.
Visit the Eliza’s Journal Pinterest page here.