The Infinity Year of Avalon James by Dana Middleton is about two best friends who when they turn the age of ten are granted an “infinity year” which is a year of magical “things” that are supposed to happen, especially since it’s a secret they share.
The friendship between Avalon and Atticus is genuine and I think the way Middleton develops the story is fantastic. The reader gets a sense of the friendship, what they share with each other, and that they are great to grow alongside in the novel. I loved how Atticus and Avalon wanted to protect one another, and yet when Atticus’ secret is let out, Middleton does an amazing job of connecting the reader with both Avalon and Atticus’ feelings.
I felt that the story was one-dimensional at times. At times I did not understand Elena’s real motivations. The reason is given, and while it’s perfectly good in middle grade, it did leave me wanting a bit more. I do love some of the littler tidbits in the novel, such as the spelling bee, and M the cat.
The book is a great story for middle school students or readers who love reading children’s literature. I enjoyed reading about Avalon and Atticus’ adventures, and I Atticus’ secret was wonderfully shared in a way that I think a lot of kids can relate to. I think the portrayal of bullying is spot on here and I love the way Avalon handles herself. There’s a lot to enjoy about The Infinity Year of Avalon James, and I think those looking for a good book about friendship will find something to love here in Dana Middleton’s debut.
I received this book from Feiwel & Friends via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.