I met Susan Fletcher on a bus headed for the Bologna Fair Grounds where the 2008 Society of Children's Book Writers and Illustrators Conference was being held. Her book, Alphabet of Dreams, was on the list of those I planned to read, so I introduced myself, then sat behind her in silent awe until we reached our destination. That's Susan Fletcher! Eek!
When we arrived at the conference I quickly snapped up the one and only copy of her book from the book stand and began to read. Ancient Persia in The City of the Dead...an adolescent girl disguised as boy... a much younger brother with prophetic dreams...evil kings, wise men and a birth foretold in the stars... I was not only hooked--I was transported.
Alphabet of Dreams is classified by the powers-that-be as a young adult (YA) novel. I can't help but agree. While the main character, Mitra, is at most 14-years-old, the vocabulary used in this narrative is extremely rich and could prove discouraging to a less advanced reader. That said, if you were to read the book along with your young teen, it could make for a truly unique summer reading experience.
Bravo, Ms. Fletcher. I look forward to meeting you again.