Finn shares his thoughts on our August middle grade book of the month, The Lifters by Dave Eggers.
The town of Carousel is named for the carousel horses its residents use to make. We are told the town became depressed both financially and emotionally when carousels were replaced in popularity by roller coasters. Do you agree carousels are no longer popular?
Kind of. Little kids still like carousels, but bigger kids don't think they are that exciting and prefer roller coasters. I prefer roller coasters.
What are the Hollows? What do you think they represent?
The Hollows are a fierce wind that is almost alive. The Hollows go through the underground making tunnels underneath towns where there is sadness. When they make a tunnel the place above it collapses. I think the Hollows represent sadness and how it can spread. Once sadness spreads through a town, the Hollows make it worse because the tunnels collapsing causes fear and damage.
When Gran and Catalina are in the tunnels she asks Gran if he trusts her. He says: "when someone asks if you trust them, it usually means they're about to do something that will make you reassess that trust." Do you agree with that? Do you think Gran could trust Catalina?
Yeah, I agree that when someone asks you if you trust them they are probably going to do something to make you rethink that trust. I also think Gran could trust Catalina because she was usually right about things. Like she was right that they wouldn't get hurt when they jumped five miles into the inner mantle of the earth. And she was right about the Hollows.
Catalina tells Gran that to be a Lifter you have to be serious, be brave, and you have to know sadness. "Because if you know sadness, you understand sadness in others. And if you can understand sadness in others, you're obligated to help." How did Gran and Catalina help alleviate the sadness in Carousel?
Gran and Catalina helped alleviate sadness because they had a plan to rebuild the City Hall carousel and restart the carousel industry in the town. Gran's parents had two of the main roles in making the carousels because his mom painted all the animals and his dad made the mechanics for the carousel's movement. The city of Carousel then had more money and an industry. And the people in the town began working together and building friendships. So the Hollows stopped visiting the town and making tunnels.
Why do you think the Lifers were all children?
Because children are small enough to work in the tunnels. Also children have more hope and that is what you need to defeat sadness and the Hollows.
We enjoyed The Lifters and are looking forward to discussing our September selection, The Land of Yesterday by KA Reynolds, on October 12.