Where Things Come Back Tour: Beware Ornithological Cannibalism

I reviewed John Corey Whaley’s Printz and Morris award-winning Where Things Come Back nearly a year ago. When writing enthusiastic reviews, I always wonder which of the books I love will be temporary obsessions and which ones will stick with me. There is no doubt that WTCB is one that will continue to leave a long-lasting impression. This quotable, intricate, and unusual book remains one of the few recent YA novels that stood out to me as a classic in the making.

I originally read the book together with Ginger of GReads!, and Ginger remains one of the most enthusiastic WTCB fans around. In honor of Where Things Come (Paper)Back–the paperback release of WTCB–Ginger put together a tour and giveaway. Check out GReads! for more information about the tour and the giveaway of this gorgeous signed book, now plastered in shiny awards.

Love John Corey Whaley’s Where Things Come Back? Join me in enjoying a Lazarus Woodpecker-inspired meal…but please don’t eat any actual woodpeckers.

“I couldn’t help imagining, as I bit into my Lazarus Burger on the way home from work, what it might be like if the bird actually did exist and happened upon one of these sandwiches. The burger itself wasn’t made from woodpeckers, of course, but instead was a quarter pound of beef with ketchup, mayonnaise, and barbecue sauce. The red, the white, and the dark brown were supposed to remind one of the bird but only reminded me of ordering the same burger when it was called the Number Three.”

I admittedly did not prepare an authentic Lazarus Burger. For one thing, I don’t eat red meat, so I made mine with a black bean burger. For another, I *love* cheese, so I had a delicious Number Three instead. I grilled the burger, toasted the bun on the grill, and then gave my bun its woodpecker stripes with mayo, ketchup, and Famous Dave’s barbecue sauce. I topped the burger with a slice of havarti cheese.

To accompany my burger, I made a red-headed woodpecker. (This one is only for the 21+ fans of WTCB….but I’m sure the younger folk could just enjoy a similar juice blend.)

Prepare the drink by filling a cocktail shaker with ice and adding the following:

2 oz coconut rum

1 oz amaretto

2 oz orange juice

2 oz pineapple juice (I used pineapple-coconut)

Shake well. Add enough cranberry juice to turn the drink red (it’s very pretty) and serve.

This fruity beverage was quite tasty, but make no mistake: The name is based on the color, not the taste. The tropical flavor is not reminiscent of woodpecker habitat, but the deep red color makes for a nice presentation alongside the Lazarus burger.

Whatever you do, don’t let any woodpeckers eat your Lazarus burger. Cullen Witter does not approve of ornithological cannibalism, and neither do I.

If the Lazarus burger leaves you hungry for a great book, be sure to check out Where Things Come Back. It has a little something for everyone–and that includes both the Morris and Printz committees, so that’s really saying something. The recipe for WTCB might look like a mixture of literary YA, atmospheric southern setting, coming of age story, suspense plot, a tall glass of hope, and a zombie fantasy on the side.

Need a little more convincing? Check out the rest of the stops on the tour:


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