I stood at the kitchen island this evening, eating Chocolate Therapy, an ice cream flavor I thought would never make it to the store. We first ate it three years ago on a factory tour of Ben and Jerry's; it felt like we were in another world as we witnessed enormous vats of churning ice cream. I loved it so much that I have been tempted to call the company to suggest it be sold to the public. Mmm.
While I savored each spoonful, I also savored the other-worldliness of Gary Schmidt's latest book What Came From the Stars. The book arrived yesterday, and though I struggled initially with the names and terminology of the Valorim and the Ethelim, I soon found myself understanding more and looking at the glossary less. It is the story of good and evil, and it begins on a planet far from earth where the evil O'Mondim have obliterated most of the Valorim and are bringing ruin to the Ethelim. One valiant man transfers the Art of Valorim to chains and a medallion of sorts and flings it across the universe. It lands in the lunch box of a sixth grader named Tommy Pepper in Plymouth Rock, Massachusetts and immediately changes his life.
The chapters alternate between the events in Ethelim and those in Plymouth Rock. As the stories become intertwined, Tommy Pepper find courage and understanding he never imagined. A world I could never imagine became real to me. In the hope that readers will also savor that place and Tommy's wisdom, I will write no more about the events.