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Ryan Andrews (The Children's Book Podcast #578)

Ryan Andrews (@HeyRyanA) shares THIS WAS OUR PACT, a graphic novel about a band of friends determined to see where the lanterns end up after being sent down the river by the folks in their town as part of the Equinox Festival. There’s a legend that they turn into stars, but no one has actually ever followed them to see. Where the river and these lanterns lead Ben and Nathaniel is beyond anything you could ever dream. I found Ryan’s story to be moving and wondrous and beautiful. It’s by far one of the best graphic novels I’ve read, both in it’s fantastical story arc and also in Ryan’s command of color in telling the story. In short, I cannot wait for you and for all readers to experience this story.

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Ryan Andrews's This Was Our Pact is an astonishing, magical-realist adventure story for middle-grade readers.

It's the night of the annual Autumn Equinox Festival, when the town gathers to float paper lanterns down the river. Legend has it that after drifting out of sight, they'll soar off to the Milky Way and turn into brilliant stars, but could that actually be true? This year, Ben and his classmates are determined to find out where those lanterns really go, and to ensure success in their mission, they've made a pact with two simple rules: No one turns for home. No one looks back.

The plan is to follow the river on their bikes for as long as it takes to learn the truth, but it isn't long before the pact is broken by all except for Ben and (much to Ben's disappointment) Nathaniel, the one kid who just doesn't seem to fit in.

Together, Nathaniel and Ben will travel farther than anyone has ever gone, down a winding road full of magic, wonder, and unexpected friendship*.

*And a talking bear.


Ryan Andrews (website)


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