Did you ever read a rave-reviewed, award-winning book and feel really stupid because you just don't get it? That's how I'm feeling about this little book by Jean-Claude Mourlevat. It's translated from French (thereby qualifying for the challenge), and won France's Prix Sorcieres (an annual prize for children's literature) in 2000. It's not bad, it's quite OK, but I just didn't finish it with the Wow! that I'd expect from a star.
The seven sons of a rough, brutish farmer & his wife run away from home one night. Yann, the youngest, is mysterious, all-knowing, mute and tiny -- at 10 he is only two feet tall. The other six are three pairs of twins. The story is told in retrospect, through the accumulated accounts of each brother, their parents, and various other participants and witnesses. At the end, Yann has disappeared for good. Was he a real boy? or a fairy tale character?
Oh well. A book for every reader, a reader for every book. To be fair, check the links below for reviews from others who got the Wow! that I missed:
School Library Journal
Amoxcalli (a book blog)
The Philadelphia Enquirer online