This Was Our Pact

This Was Our Pact

Paperback - 2019
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"It's the night of the annual Autumn Equinox Festival, when the town gathers to float paper lanterns down the river. Legend has it that after drifting out of sight, they'll soar off to the Milky Way and turn into brilliant stars, but could that actually be true? This year, Ben and his classmates are determined to find out where those lanterns really go, and to ensure success in their mission, they've made a pact with two simple rules: No one turns for home. No one looks back. The plan is to follow the river on their bikes for as long as it takes to learn the truth, but it isn't long before the pact is broken by all except for Ben and (much to Ben's disappointment) Nathaniel, the one kid who just doesn't seem to fit in. Together, Nathaniel and Ben will travel farther than anyone has ever gone, down a winding road full of magic, wonder, and unexpected friendship; and a talking bear"--Provided by publisher.
Publisher: New York : First Second, an imprint of Roaring Book Press, 2019.
Edition: First edition.
Copyright Date: ©2019
ISBN: 9781250196958
Characteristics: 329 pages : chiefly color illustrations ; 22 cm


From Library Staff

Chicago Public Library recommends this title as one of the very best fiction books published for kids in 4th through 8th grades in 2019.

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Apr 08, 2020

Each year, a community releases paper lanterns into a river and watches them float out of sight. This year, Ben and a group of friends make a pact to follow the lanterns and see where they end up. One by one, all of his friends leave except Nathaniel (whom Ben didn't want to come anyway). What follows is a wonderful fantasy adventure filled with fun characters.

I never really had any indication of where this story was heading--each twist was unexpected and fun! I really liked the characters of Nathaniel and Ben and felt they were believable. The magical and animal characters were great as well and even the one-dimensional characters were interesting enough to hold my attention.

I also really enjoyed the art style--it is whimsical and fluid. The colors help convey the emotions of a scene and the panels (and sometimes entire chapters) are monochromatic. For example, most of chapter one is varying shades of blue.

I enjoyed this one and feel like upper elementary on up would as well.

Feb 24, 2020

This book is so imaginative. I never knew what was going to happen next and I loved the mystical elements

This book was gorgeous and not at all what I was expecting! It becomes a sort of surrealist quest as you go on, a tale of embracing your weirdness and enjoying the moments along the journey. And did I mention it was gorgeous? Because it was. Another book I probably need to own at some point.

sockmonkery Jan 05, 2020

This was a fabulous fantastical story of friendship and unusual events. I was expecting something else, but this was much MUCH better. If you like whimsy and wonderful things, read this book.

ArapahoeLauraRose Jan 02, 2020

This book was soft and wonderful and delightful! I loved the muted colors in the art. My favorite character was definitely the bear. In an interview, Andrews stated that he was inspired by the storytelling and art style of one of my favorite films, "Spirited Away." I could tell!

JCLHebahA Nov 05, 2019

Gorgeous art and a magical, whimsical adventure story to go with it.

JCLChrisK Jul 17, 2019

A group of boys ride their bikes out of town on a country road in search of adventure and excitement on a starry night, having made a pact not to stop until they have found what they are looking for. One at a time they all turn back until only a single brave soul ventures on, trailed by an uninvited outcast. The two cross a bridge, advance into virgin territory, and see a strange figure looming in the darkness. And that's when the adventure really begins. A night of enchanting mystery where reality blurs into fantasy, with unknown menace, magic, danger, and wonder waits just around the corner. The boys find what they were looking for and so much more. Delightful.

"Our pact had two simple rules.

"Rule one: no one turns for home.

"Rule two: no one looks back."

JCLEmmaF Jun 14, 2019

An utterly gorgeous, spunky, funny, exciting exploration story about two boys who don't get along perfectly, and the bear they meet. I love it.


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"Our pact had two simple rules. Rule one: no one turns for home. Rule two: no one looks back."


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