Tennysonis a beautiful little novel. It has everything you could ask for in a book for young adults; history, emotional development, action, humor, and metaphor.
Branded as a Southern Gothic tale, Tennyson muses over the tangible details of Mississippi and Louisiana; the plants, the heat, the bugs, the tired and weary buildings. But what Tennyson is, ultimately, is a book about family, the pull of home, nostalgia for the past, and the yearning for a better future. In that sense, it is thoroughly American.
My one concern with Lesley M. M. Blume‘s Tennyson is that it may be one of those books that adults like for children better than children like for themselves. I can just picture my elementary school librarian handing it to me, bouffant bouncing and a big smile on her face, telling me that I’ll love this book, then reading it, being a little confused, and sneaking it back into the library while avoiding the librarian so she won’t ask me what I thought . . . or maybe I was the only one who did that.
I’m not sure that the emotional tension really sings the way it ought to, when contrasted with Blume’s occasionally zany and cartoon-ish humor. But then, the black humor and sarcasm that I feel would have been more appropriate is an acquired taste, one I hope most children have not yet developed.
Overall, however, I loved Tennyson, and I believe it is a must-read, on par with Tuck Everlasting.