Land of a Hundred Wonders by Lesley Kagen

Title: Land of a Thousand Wonders
Author: Lesley Kagen
Pub Date: August 2008
Genre: Fiction
Challenges: 100+
Rating: 5/5

"I'm knocked up," she says.
"I know how you favor those knock-knock jokes as much as Grampa," I say, swiping off eraser crumbs. "So I'm real sorry, but I don't have time to be honing my sense of humor right now. It's vital I get this story done."
"Being knocked up don't have nuthin' to do with a joke. It ain't funny."
"Well, what does it have to do with then?" I ask, fussy. Besides feeling like a full-out failure when I don't understand what something means, I fear Mama's gonna wear her pacing feet to the bone if I don't figure out who murdered Mr. Buster soon.
"Knocked up means" - Clever stops to hawk and spit - "I'm gonna. . . I'm gonna have a baby." (pg. 57)

Perhaps while you were reading that you chuckled to yourself and thought, that girl's just not quite right. See, that's Gibby talking to her best friend - Clever, and you were correct to make that assumption. Gibby has been NQR since the terrible car accident that left her orphaned and living with her grampa in a small Southern town in the 70's.

Gibby fancies herself an investigative reporter, and she's in luck, because she stumbled across a dead body, and not just any body, but the future governor's body! Gibby feels that this is her chance to become QR once again. She'll solve the mystery and her dead mamma will be proud and able to rest. 'Course, Gibby does tend to forget things. Like where that body was to begin with.

While solving the murder is the back drop of this lyrical novel, Gibby's relationships with her family, friends, and community all after this tragic accident.

Kagen is a wonderful writer. The novel is told in Gibby's point of view and she has mastered the voice of this young lady who struggles with her brain injury. I'm not familiar with anything else that Kagen wrote, and only picked up this novel because the cover was just oh-so-beautiful. I'm sure that it won't be the last from this author. I *highly* recommend this book.


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