The New Policeman

by Kate Thompson

Fifteen-year-old J. J. Liddy is one in a long line of talented Irish musicians committed... read more

Fifteen-year-old J. J. Liddy is one in a long line of talented Irish musicians committed to keeping traditional music alive. J. J.’s passionate mother is the driving force in his family, and he is determined to give her the thing she wants most for her birthday—more time. What J. J. doesn’t realize is that time is literally disappearing. Somewhere there is a leak between the human world and Tír na n’Óg, the land of eternal youth. Time is slipping away from one—leaving everyone stressed and scrambling to get things done—and into the other, making it the land of eternal youth no more. An alarmed and astonished J. J. finds himself in Tír na n’Óg, scrambling to understand the place and the people while searching for the leak with Aengus, his self-appointed guide. In the meantime, back in the human world, J. J. is missing, and as time passes so, too, does hope that he will ever be found or return, although his case is strangely compelling to the newest member of the local police force. Thompson’s intriguing, singular story features a host of appealing, well-developed characters; a fascinating plot that moves back and forth between the two worlds and alludes to multiple mysteries within and between them; and superb pacing, with short, tightly wound chapters that reflect the importance and impact of time in the story. It also features music—captivating, pulsing, lilting descriptions of traditional Irish music being played, and actual sheet music that forms bridges between the chapters, with each piece carefully chosen to reflect what is happening in the story. Many of these are traditional Irish pieces, while several are original songs composed by author. (Ages 11–15)

© Cooperative Children's Book Center, Univ. of Wisconsin - Madison, 2008

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