A Tangle of Knots, / Lisa Graff
Puffin ISBN 9780147510136
INT (Grades 4-6) Rating: 5
Prolific author Lisa Graff presents a novel that is part magical adventure and part intricate mystery where everyone has a talent to discover.
In A Tangle of Knots, the opening scene is set fifty-three years in the ago – when eighteen-year-old Mason boards a bus with a suitcase. When he reaches his destination, his suitcase is gone, along with a piece of paper that held his destiny. Will he ever find it again?
Cady is an eleven-year-old orphan with a talent for cake baking. She wins competitions because Cady instinctively knows what cake to bake for the judge (by knowing their favorite flavor). She lives at Miss Mallory’s Orphanage whose talent is finding forever families for the children. Will Cady ever find her forever family? Meanwhile there lurks a thief who is stealing others’ talents. Will he succeed in stealing Cady’s talent? Can anyone stop him?
Graff pens a charming tale that draws the reader in and keeps the reader engaged. There are plenty of twists to hold the reader’s interest — dysfunctional family relationships, thievery, and parent-child conflicts. A Tangle of Knots is told from multiple points of view, creating a tangled knot that is slowly unraveled as each story is told. As one is reading the book, one wonders if the different stories will be wrapped up satisfactorily – and they are!
The theme of A Tangle of Knots recognizes we all have God-given talents. By discovering and sharing them, we all benefit because our lives are connected. Nominated for the National Book Award and the Children’s Choice Award, A Tangle of Knots includes Cady’s cake recipes scattered throughout the book.
Recommended for upper elementary and middle school readers.
Carol R. Gehringer
—reprinted with permission, Christian Library Journal, 2015.