Skyping Back in Time by Agnes Ong
My rating: 5 of 5 stars
A strange blackout in his Petaling Jaya apartment connects eleven-year-old Kian Kit to nine-year-old Mei Mei from 1946 Malacca. This strange connection opens Kian Kit's eyes to the realities of life after war and how families struggled to survive in 1946. When events threaten to break up Mei Mei's family, Kian Kit tries to help - but what can he do when he's 68 years in the future?
Agnes has written one of the most awwwww-inducing books I've read in a while. It's targetted at kids - a classic MG kind of story, with obvious "learning points" (the war in Malaya, being poor, being nice to your younger siblings, etc) - but that makes it no less adorable. On second thoughts - maybe more adorable for adults than for kids. And maybe more cute for girls than for boys.
It has a nice, pretty ending; neatly tied up with bows and flourishes, even leaving an opening for a maybe-sequel, should Agnes want to make it into a series.
On a personal, not-so-MG point of view, the beginning was a little clunky, with a Calvin-and-Hobbes-esque opening. Scattered throughout the book are some rather oddly-styled sentences as well, though that's probably a question of personal style & taste. Agnes additionally uses Malaysian English in conversation (E.g. "You sit with Ko Ko here. Ma go find candles"; "Okay, okay. We go together") quite well, adding in that little Malaysian quirkiness and flair, but which may throw off people not used to it.
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On another thought: WHY IS THIS NOT AN E-BOOK YET?
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