Friday, August 6, 2010

Picture the Dead: Score One More for the Case for Traditional Books

As the debate rages about the future of traditional printed books, and the availability of e-books soars, I add one more tally mark on the side of the "real deal." I recently read Picture the Dead, the new civil-war themed young adult novel by Adele Griffin and Lisa Brown, and my initial and continuing reaction as I read was "this book is lovely to hold." The combination of color, illustration, and texture complemented the story so wonderfully! I can't imagine enjoying it any other way. Kudos to publisher Sourcebooks Fire for the finished product, and to the authors for the perfect blend of story and picture.

The book is set locally in Brookline, Massachusetts, and uses the historic thrill of the then-popular practice of "spirit photography" as a backdrop to the story of Jennie Lovell and the tragic loss of both her twin brother and her fiance to the civil war. Mixing historical drama, love, mystery and the supernatural, the story is told through engaging text, with letters, portraits and scrapbook entries beautifully rendered by illustrator Lisa Brown.

I loved this story, and I loved this book! For another visual treat, check out the authors' website for the book, and get a sneak peek of the treasures the book holds.