New Middle Grade Fiction: The Doldrums – Nicholas Gannon

This one’s a treasure. Beautifully illustrated throughout, this debut has the visual vibe of Brian Selznick or Chris Van Allsburg with the quirky warm-heartedness of a Wes Anderson movie. No surprise Indie booksellers noticed how special this debut is and selected it as a both an Indies Introduce pick and an Indie Next pick. Starred reviews from the advance journals. Keep an eye on it!

On Archer Helmsley’s ninth birthday, his grandparents vanish while exploring an iceberg in Antarctica. Two years later, Archer (along with his best friend Oliver, the fretful son of a newspaperman, and Adélaïde, a mysterious Parisian girl with a wooden leg) plans to embark on a rescue mission—if only his overprotective mother would let him leave the house. Newcomer Gannon reveals himself as a skilled storyteller, both in his writing and artwork. His quippy quotes, whimsically meandering exposition, and penchant for the gently absurd breathe life into his three main characters, while his full-color illustrations—precise, elegant, and haunting—are a delightful means of seeing into his mind’s eye….It’s a tender tale of friendship, untapped courage, and accidental adventure, filled with the spirit of exploration.
—  Publishers Weekly (starred review)

“Amusing, heartwarming, and zany. … The debut author also provides delicate, full-color illustrations throughout. Readers will eventually sigh in relief with Archer and his friends.”
— Kirkus Reviews (starred review)

A perfectly gorgeous book! What a treat to get such an amazing story AND such fabulous illustrations in one package.  A grand adventure for three misfit friends who find each other and, in supporting each other in their unlikely quest, discover the importance of always being true to yourself.  The Doldrums reminds us that it’s a good thing to be a dreamer!
— Laura Donohoe, Malaprops Bookstore/Cafe, Asheville, NC

Illustration - 4

The Doldrums (9780062320940) by Nicholas Gannon. $17.99 hardcover. 9/29/15 on sale.

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