One day we get this strange (in a good way), quirky, funny book about an unreliable dog walker who loses a client's dog. In the saga of looking for this dog, the author decides to poke fun at just about everything that's wrong with human society. And did I mention the lost dog doesn't want to be found? Call us strange, quirky, and sometimes even funny, but we love strange, quirky, funny books and so we accepted Find Sam by Debbie Ann Ice.
And readers agree with us: "Whatever you might be expecting from Find Sam, I feel pretty confident in saying you will be surprised. Written from the point of view of one human character and one canine character, the story ostensibly revolves around a missing dog. But it is every bit as much about the often funny kinds of holes we dig for ourselves when we begin to lie."
Debbie's next novel, Dead Fish, is also a strange, quirky, funny book but it's like a maturer older sister to Find Sam. By setting the issue of the climate crises a few years in the future during a time when the United States government has all but given up on actually governing (wait . . . never mind), Debbie is able to tell the story her own way. This includes writing two-thirds of the book in (gasp) second person (as highlighted in the don't-ever-do-this section on fiction writing). The reason is brilliant, by the way. The Blue Jays also talk to each, and they're masters of observation.
Dead Fish is, as a reader puts it, “a smart and important and wonderfully funny book. It takes place sometime in the future but I hope all young people read it right now while there’s still time to grow up and do something about it. And on the way, hand the book to your mother and tell her to get busy saving the planet for you.”
We're not sure what Debbie is cooking up at the moment—if she's in search of new linguistically talented critters, finding new human foibles to poke fun at, or continuing to explore ways of bringing important issues to our attention in quirky fictional ways. Whatever she's working on, we're certain it'll be strange, quirky, and funny and also makes us think a bit about our world.