Mal Peet is one of those authors whose work defies categorization. He tends to write novels in which the protagonists are older (as in Exposed
, a retelling of Shakespeare's Othello
, set in the world of professional soccer) or in which the subjects and themes are mature (as in Tamar
, a complex historical novel about the World War II resistance movement). Although his books are marketed as young adult novels, they would certainly appeal to adults as well.
Peet's newest work is no exception. The only inelegant aspect of Life: An Exploded Diagram
is its title; elsewhere, Peet showcases the kind of skillful plotting and fearless exploration that have earned him a terrific reputation - and no shortage of awards.
Clem Ackroyd's arrival in the world in 1945 is marked by an explosion, as his mother Ruth - out in the garden to appease a...
Beyond the Book
For thirteen days in October 1962, the world was on the brink of nuclear war. U.S. spy planes had detected what appeared to be nuclear missile sites being built on the island of Cuba, just ninety miles off the coast of Florida. Soviet ships, originally designed to carry cargo such as lumber or food, had been outfitted to transport nuclear warheads to their ally in the Caribbean.
President John F. Kennedy was caught between two groups of advisers: the Hawks, who advocated making an immediate and aggressive strike against Cuba, and the Doves, who recommended taking a less antagonistic...