Lisa Graff’s National Book Award nominated A Tangle of Knots was a delight, and the story continues in A Clatter of Jars. It may be surprising to readers to find that the main character is not the same, but as Graff so beautifully untied the “knots” in the earlier book, so does she bring all shards together in the new one.
It is five years after A Tangle of Knots, and the central characters are all present at Camp Atropos for Singular Talents. In this world, which is in all other respects like our own, people may be born with one unusual Talent. The abilities range from levitation of objects to being able to make the perfect cake for everyone you meet. The kids in Cabin Eight will discover that their Talents—or in some cases, their secrets—will soon be necessary to solve a mystery.
Graff’s writing is consistently excellent, and she once again deftly weaves each character’s story together until the denouement. Sometimes the reader can see where the disparate pieces will knock into each other, but sometimes not. It’s as if each character is a glass jar rattling against another until they all settle down. Graff’s prose and plot construction is as pleasing as ever, and A Clatter of Jars will appeal to a wide range of readers.
Jennifer Bruer Kitchel is the librarian for a Pre-K through 8th level Catholic school.