________________ CM . . . . Volume XIX Number 4. . . .September 28, 2012

cover

That Night's Train.

Ahmad Akbarpour. Translated by Majid Saghafi.
Toronto, ON: Groundwood Books/House of Anansi Press, 2012.
94 pp., pbk, hc., & EPUB, $9.95 (pbk.), $14.95 (hc.), $9.95 (EPUB).
ISBN 978-1-55498-170-0 (pbk.), ISBN 978-1-55498-169-4 (hc.), ISBN 978-1-55498-306-3 (EPUB).

Grades 3-6 / Ages 8-11.

Review by Tara Stieglitz.

*** /4

Reviewed from Advance Review Copy.

   

excerpt:

Another thing to consider even though some might find this quite upsetting is that she is capable of anything, no matter how cruel, if it will make a good ending for her story. A story must be eventful and exciting, either good or bad, she thinks to herself.

 

That Night's Train is an enchanting novel about a young girl who encounters a teacher and writer on a train in Iran. The teacher befriends the girl and promises to visit, though she fails to do so at the agreed time. The teacher later takes the meeting on the train and spins it into a tale to tell her students. The teacher's students have their own opinions about how the story should end and whether the teacher in the story should visit the girl. The parallel stories of the girl waiting for a visit from the teacher and the teacher's storytelling to her students intersect and blur the line between fiction and reality. As the novel progresses, reality becomes increasingly difficult to discern, and the reader is left wondering where the reality of the characters' experiences end and the stories told by the teacher begin. Later parts of the novel even address the fact that there are readers of the novel who may react in different ways to the events of the novel and to the events in the teacher's story.

     While the content of the novel can foster a deep discussion of fiction versus reality, on the surface, it is a likable story of a lonely girl who befriends a kind young woman. The quality of the surface story and the clarity and simplicity of the language make That Night's Train a good choice for younger readers. That Night's Train is a satisfying story that weaves together fiction and reality in a unique way.

Recommended.

Tara Stieglitz is a librarian at Grant MacEwan University in Edmonton, AB.

To comment on this title or this review, send mail to cm@umanitoba.ca.

Copyright the Manitoba Library Association. Reproduction for personal use is permitted only if this copyright notice is maintained. Any other reproduction is prohibited without permission.
Published by
The Manitoba Library Association
ISSN 1201-9364
Hosted by the University of Manitoba.
 

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