Bondoux, Anne-Laure 1971-
Bondoux, Anne-Laure 1971-
Born April 23, 1971, in Paris, France; children: two. Education: Attended University of Paris—Nanterre.
Bayard Presse, Paris, France, magazine editor, 1996-2000; freelance writer, 2000—. Has also worked in the theater.
Fondation de France award; Prix Sorcières and Prix littéraire des collégiens du Bessin-Bocage, both 2004, both for Les larmes de l'assassin; Prix Coup de Coeur Jeunesse, 2006, for Le destin de Linus Hoppe; Prix Livrentête, 2006, for Pépites.
Noémie superstar!, Syros (Paris, France), 1999.
Qu'est-ce que tu vas faire de toi?, Nathan (Paris, France), 2000.
Le destin de Linus Hoppe, Bayard (Paris, France), 2001, translated by Catherine Temerson as The Destiny of Linus Hoppe, Delacorte (New York, NY), 2005.
La seconde vie de Linus Hoppe, Bayard (Paris, France), 2002, translated by Catherine Temerson as The Second Life of Linus Hoppe, Delacorte (New York, NY), 2005.
Les larmes de l'assassin, Bayard (Paris, France), 2003, translated by Y. Maudet as The Killer's Tears, Delacorte (New York, NY), 2006.
Le prince Nino à la maternouille, Bayard (Paris, France), 2003.
Les bottes de grand-chemin, Bayard (Paris, France), 2004.
La princetta et le capitaine, Hachette (Paris, France), 2004, translated by Anthea Bell as The Princetta, Bloomsbury (New York, NY), 2006, published as The Princess and the Captain, Bloomsbury (London, England), 2006.
La vie comme elle vient, École des Loisirs (Paris, France), 2004, translated by Anthea Bell as Life as It Comes, Delacorte (New York, NY), 2007.
Mon amie d'Amérique, Bayard (Paris, France), 2005.
Pépites, Bayard (Paris, France), 2005.
Le croquemitaine, Bayard (Paris, France), 2005.
"PEOPLE OF THE RATS" NOVEL TRILOGY
La grande menace (title means "The Great Threat"), Bayard (Paris, France), 2001.
Au coeur de la tourmente (title means "In the Heart of the Storm"), Bayard (Paris, France), 2002.
La tribu des forêts (title means "The Tribe of the Forests"), Bayard (Paris, France), 2002.
Anne-Laure Bondoux is the author of a number of highly regarded novels for young adults, including The Destiny of Linus Hoppe and its sequel, The Second Life of Linus Hoppe. Born in 1971 near Paris, France, Bondoux attended the University of Paris—Nanterre. During her time in college, she also established a series of writing workshops for students with special needs, earn-ing a national award from the Fondation de France for her efforts. Bondoux spent some time in the theater, then joined Paris-based publisher Bayard Presse in 1996. At Bayard she edited J'aime Lire, an educational magazine for children, and helped launch another periodical for children titled Maximum. Bondoux published her first book, Noémie superstar!, in 1999, and a year later she became a full-time writer.
A futuristic science-fiction novel, The Destiny of Linus Hoppe—published in its original French as Le destin de Linus Hoppe—follows the exploits of a teenager who
lives a comfortable life with his family in Realm One, a safe, clean section of Paris reserved for the city's elite. Upon reaching age fourteen, all Parisians are tested by the Great Processor to determine how they will spend the remainder of their lives; those who achieve the highest scores are assigned to Realm One while others must work in the factories of squalid Realm Two or face the terrifying prospect of "reeducation" in Realm Three. Through the Internet, Linus makes contact with Yosh, a boy from Realm Two who, like Linus, is approaching his fourteenth birthday. With the help of some friends, the boys "hatch a plan to scramble their test results and choose their own destinies, an unheard-of idea," observed a critic in Kirkus Reviews. Praising the novel, Holly Koelling wrote in Booklist that "Bondoux's action-oriented story is an intriguing attempt at [presenting] a utopian/dystopian future from the teen perspective."
Bondoux continues her story of the rebellious teen in The Second Life of Linus Hoppe. (originally published as La seconde vie de Linus Hoppe). Having successfully undermined the system, Linus now faces a life of exhausting manual labor in Realm Two. Then the teen meets Mr. Zanz, a member of the underground resistance movement that opposes society's rigid caste system. Using identification cards stolen from dead citizens, Linus is able to move between realms and ultimately helps expose a government plot involving corruption at the testing bureau. Although some critics maintained that Bondoux's sequel does not live up to the promise of The Destiny of Linus Hoppe, Booklist contributor Jennifer Hubert stated that the author's "premise … is intriguing enough to please fans of the first book."
Bondoux received the prestigious Prix Sorcières for Les larmes de l'assassin, a novel translated into English as The Killer's Tears. Described as "a haunting exploration of guilt and innocence, and of the redemptive power of a loving relationship" by Kliatt reviewer Claire Rosser, the work opens as Angel Allegria, a drifter with a sinister past, arrives at the home of young Paolo Poloverdo, who lives with his parents on a small, desolate farm on the southern tip of Chile. Needing a place to hide, Angel brutally murders Paolo's mother and father, then settles into his victims' home, sparing their son's life. When another wanderer, Luis Secunda, also happens upon the farm, he is invited to stay, and over time he teaches Paolo to read and write. His presence also affects Angel, who has grown so attached to Paolo that he claims to be the youth's father. Eventually the trio head for town to purchase livestock; once they arrive, Angel is identified as a wanted criminal and imprisoned, triggering a series of disastrous events.
"In commanding, starkly poetic language that lends an almost magical beauty to the harsh landscape and events," Horn Book contributor Christine M. Hepperman observed, Bondoux demonstrates how the "two outcasts become emotionally dependent on each other"
in The Killer's Tears. Noting the novel's focus on "Angel's awakening conscience," B. Allison Gray added in her School Library Journal review that, "through his relationship with the boy, he begins to see the importance of life and love." "Bondoux's prose is as parched as the land, her symbols and images knife-sharp: the spirits of dead children, a broken pitcher, a handful of dirt," noted a contributor in Kirkus Reviews in praise of the novel, while in Publishers Weekly a reviewer stated that the author's "affecting fable-like style and absorbing narrative sustain this unusual story to its redemptive conclusion." Gillian Engberg, writing in Booklist, praised Bondoux's willingness to explore important themes, remarking of The Killer's Tears that, "with unsparing, emotional truth, she describes a world in which the morality of the heart doesn't always match the morality of civilized society."
Bondoux introduces readers to a world of make-believe in La princetta et le capitaine, translated into English as The Princetta. In the novel, Malva, the princess of Galnicia, bristles at the thought of her upcoming marriage to the prince of Andemark, and on the eve of her wedding, she is smuggled from the palace and placed aboard a ship that will carry her to freedom. A fierce storm shipwrecks the princess, however, and brave Orpheus McBott sets out to rescue her. "Things get swirlingly complicated, with sea beasts, mysterious lands and new allies," noted a Kirkus Reviews critic of The Princetta. Citing the book's "rich descriptive language," Lynn Rutan commented in Booklist that Bondoux's "swashbuckling fantasy … is chock-full of action."
Biographical and Critical Sources
Booklist, April 15, 2005, Holly Koelling, review of The Destiny of Linus Hoppe, p. 1463; November 1, 2005, Jennifer Hubert, review of The Second Life of Linus Hoppe, p. 37; January 1, 2006, Gillian Engberg, review of The Killer's Tears, p. 92; September 1, 2006, Lynn Rutan, review of The Princetta, p. 109.
Bookseller, February 17, 2006, review of The Princetta, p. 36.
Horn Book, March-April, 2006, Christine M. Hepperman, review of The Killer's Tears, p. 179.
Kirkus Reviews, April 15, 2005, review of The Destiny of Linus Hoppe, p. 469; October 1, 2005, review of The Second Life of Linus Hoppe, p. 1076; February 1, 2006, review of The Killer's Tears, p. 128; March 1, 2006, review of The Killer's Tears, p. S12; July 1, 2006, review of The Princetta, p. 674.
Kliatt, January, 2006, Claire Rosser, review of The Killer's Tears, p. 4.
Publishers Weekly, January 16, 2006, review of The Killer's Tears, p. 65.
School Library Journal, July, 2005, Jessi Platt, review of The Destiny of Linus Hoppe, p. 96; January, 2006, Kelly Vikstrom, review of The Second Life of Linus Hoppe, p. 128; February, 2006, B. Allison Gray, review of The Killer's Tears, p. 128.