Booraem, Ellen. The unnameables.

Author:Scanlon, Donna
Position:Children's review - Book review

BOORAEM, Ellen. The unnameables. Harcourt. 318p. c2008. 978-0-15-206368-9. $16.00. JSA*

Medford Runyuin lives on an island named, prosaically enough, Island. The lives of the people on Island have changed very little since the first Island settlers arrived in the 17th century. They brought with them the Book, a huge volume that gave all kinds of advice and instructions and developed their society further by means of the interpretation of the words in the Book. Eventually, people on Island took the names of whatever their work became, such as Potter, Carver, Tanner, and so on. They made only utilitarian objects, things that could be identified and named. Decorative objects were among the Unnameable. Medford is not descended from the original settlers on Island; he was the survivor of a wreck that claimed the lives of his parents. The village grudgingly took him in, although his foster father, Boyce Carver, has raised him with love and care. Medford wants to be a Carver, like Boyce, but he has to be found worthy of the work. He goes to live on his own, which is better in some ways, if lonely, but it makes it easier to hide the things that would get him sent straight to the Mainland, the punishment for creating the Unnameable.

All bets are off when the Goatman arrives. He is part...

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