Summary and book reviews of Saving Montgomery Sole by Mariko Tamaki

Saving Montgomery Sole

by Mariko Tamaki

Saving Montgomery Sole by Mariko Tamaki
  • Critics' Opinion:

    Readers' Opinion:

     Not Yet Rated
  • First Published:
    Apr 2016, 240 pages
    Paperback:
    Apr 2017, 256 pages

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Book Reviewed by:
Bradley Sides

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About this Book

Book Summary

A beautiful and offbeat novel from Mariko Tamaki, co-creator of the bestselling Printz Honor and Caldecott Honor Book This One Summer.

Montgomery Sole is a square peg in a small town, forced to go to a school full of jocks and girls who don't even know what irony is. It would all be impossible if it weren't for her best friends, Thomas and Naoki. The three are also the only members of Jefferson High's Mystery Club, dedicated to exploring the weird and unexplained, from ESP and astrology to super powers and mysterious objects.

Then there's the Eye of Know, the possibly powerful crystal amulet Monty bought online. Will it help her predict the future or fight back against the ignorant jerks who make fun of Thomas for being gay or Monty for having lesbian moms? Maybe the Eye is here just in time, because the newest resident of their small town is scarier than mothmen, poltergeists, or, you know, gym.

Thoughtful, funny, and painfully honest, Montgomery Sole is someone you'll want to laugh and cry with over a big cup of frozen yogurt with extra toppings.

1

I used to have a T-shirt that had the words NEVER STOP EXPLORING on it.

On the front was a starry moonlit sky with puffy text across the belly. On the back was a tiny ship floating into what I imagined to be an endless night.

When I was in fourth grade, I wore the shirt to show-and-tell. I said it was my favorite because it had "a moon" on it.

Some kid at the back of the room shouted out, "The moon."

"Duh," I said. "There's more than one."

I got a time-out. Because it's not nice to say "duh." Even though I was right. It is "a moon," which I knew back then and know now. The universe is really big. There's more than just the one moon that happens to hang over the teeny-tiny town of Aunty, California, where I live. Have lived. For what feels like forever.

Although Mama Kate says everything feels like forever when you're sixteen.

* * *

It was a crispy but sunny fall afternoon in Aunty. Outside, I could see the shadow of a day moon hanging like an idea in the blue sky. The ...

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Reviews

BookBrowse Review

BookBrowse

Younger and more conservative readers might find sections of Tamaki’s novel difficult to digest. While the novel never falls into the trap of becoming too preachy or too offensive, Saving Montgomery Sole does openly explore various perceptions of sexuality and religion. But there is a lot to admire in the novel. Tamaki captures the voice of a struggling young person so splendidly. Although some of Monty’s remarks made me cringe, I couldn’t help but to root for her as she strives to solve all of the big mysteries in her world. The story overflows with feeling and passion.   (Reviewed by Bradley Sides).

Full Review (608 words).

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Media Reviews

School Library Journal

While the themes are mature, the writing and characters are accessible for younger middle school readers; this would make a strong addition to most school or public library YA collections.

Publishers Weekly

Starred Review. Montgomery's slow confrontation with reality creates a realistic, satisfying arc, and Tamaki's economical storytelling results in dimensional characters whose struggles feel viscerally real. Ages 12–up.

Children's Literature

Saving Montgomery Sole is an important, beautifully written text (with beautiful cover art) and a true joy to read. For this reason, it is highly recommended for selection

Author Blurb Daniel Handler, New York Times bestselling author of the Lemony Snicket series
As with Montgomery Sole, my life is made bearable and glorious by a Mystery Club - a group of authors who tell the truth with wit and verve and style. Mariko Tamaki is in this club. Truth be told she's the coolest member.

Author Blurb Holly Black, author of The Darkest Part of the Forest
Saving Montgomery Sole is a beautiful and eloquent book that perfectly captures the yearning for a mystery larger than ourselves.

Reader Reviews

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Beyond the Book

Magical Objects from the Past

It doesn't take long for magic to sneak into Mariko Tamaki's YA novel, Saving Montgomery Sole. In fact, much of the story relies on suspending one's belief, as we follow the life and peculiar happenings of Montgomery "Monty" Sole. Monty is an outcast looking for a way to connect with those around her. After participating in a Mystery Club that caters to her and her friends' interests in sorcery, ESP (extrasensory perception), and other fantastical things, Monty purchases the Eye of Know, a crystal amulet, from a website. When Monty wears the seemingly sacred rock around her neck, she feels as if she has the power to see more - well, to see beyond. As the novel comes to a close, readers work to decipher if the rock is ...

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