Anne-Laure Bondoux was born near Paris in 1971, where she still lives today with her two children. She has written several novels for young people in varied genres and has received numerous literary prizes in her native France. The Killer's Tears was awarded France's prestigious Prix Sorcieres. Anne-Laure Bondoux studied Modern Letters at the University of Paris X-Nanterre, and during her education, created writing workshops for disadvantaged children, for which she eventually received the Prix Fondation of France. After having done some theatre, Bondoux joined the editorial staff at Bayard Presse in 1996. There she worked on J'aime Lire, a literary, educational publication for children, and in 1998 participated in the launch of a new kids' magazine titled Maximum. She retired from journalism in 2000 in order to devote her time exclusively to writing, and is the author of several children's books, including The Destiny of Linus Hoppe, and The Secon
French author Bondoux's (The Destiny of Linus Hoppe) evocative and beautifully translated story reaches into the icy soul of a murderer and chronicles the warming effect of a needy and innocent boy. Set on the southernmost tip of Chile, the novel begins as Angel, a wanderer, arrives at young Paolo's house and kills his parents but spares Paolo, who can bring him water and cook him soup. Over time, Angel becomes attached to the boy as they build a new life together. But then another traveler, Luis, who is a good and learned man, stops in to stay, and Angel becomes more possessive of Paolo. Eventually this conflict leads to a bad end for Angel when they make a three-day journey to the city to purchase more animals. By then readers will have grown as attached to the two odd men and the lonely boy as the characters have become to each other. When Angel is jailed, Paolo is forbidden to see him and is warned that it is "not normal" to love a murderer. "He hoped his heart would wear out and stop beating. What other way was there to stop loving someone?" If not for the mention of surveillance cameras in the town's bank, this tale could be set almost anytime, considering that the trio travels on horseback and relies upon livestock for food. An affecting fable-like style and absorbing narrative sustain this unusual story to its redemptive conclusion. Ages 12-up. (Feb.) Copyright 2006 Reed Business Information.
'a blend of gothic fairytale and magic realism...Dark, strange and compelling...for readers 12-16.'Herald21/7/07'unique novel of character and place almost a fable...or an allegorical morality tale.'Magpies25/7/07'Paolo's story is a wonderful and sometimes sad journey which investigates the innocence of a child; the power of love and the complicated way we humans relate to each other.'Inverell Times1/6/07'the ideal novel for those who don't like reading...full of murder and adventure, the perfect choice for boys.'Dianne Galbraith, VIC
Gr 8 Up-Young Paolo Poloverdo's complex life is recounted in this translation of the winner of the French Prix Sorcieres. Set in a remote location in Chile, the story begins when a boy's parents have their throats cut by a vagrant. In a rare moment of compassion, the murderer, Angel Allegros, decides not to kill the child. Paolo's response to these events is curiously distant, as is the entire narrative. The boy is vaguely upset by, yet matter-of-fact about, his parents' deaths. A second visitor, Luis Secunda, eventually appears and Paolo dispassionately asks Angel not to stab the man because he does not feel like digging another grave. The three settle into an uneasy routine, with the adults vying to be Paolo's father figure. A necessary trip to buy livestock is the catalyst for a number of tragic and perhaps inevitable events, including betrayal, an attempted suicide, and capital punishment. The major plot line concerns Angel's awakening conscience. Through his relationship with the boy, he begins to see the importance of life and love. While the book's haunting, melancholy air will keep readers turning pages, the complex yet remote telling gives it the feel of South-American literature, which may hold more appeal for adults than for teens.-B. Allison Gray, John Jermain Library, Sag Harbor, NY Copyright 2006 Reed Business Information.