A great read!
I first read this when I was about 8 or 9, and have read it many times since. As the main page says, it's a book about a boy who goes to a juvenile detention camp for a crime he didn't commit, but it's so much more. The book explores themes like friendship, curses and even human nature. It uses a lot of flashbacks which give it some depth, but don't make it too confusing and it's still a light read compared to some of the longer children's books and series. This brings me to my next point-although it's marketed as a children's book and the film is rated U if i remember correctly, it's still a powerful read and that shouldn't deter any adults who have yet to read it. The characters are very well developed and not many of the antagonists are just 'bad because they're bad'. The author has clearly thought this book through and although there are fantasy elements it still comes off as entirely plausible for the most part. The only problems I could find are that the time skips don't quite fit with the generations that pass, and the skips in the film are not well labelled which causes much confusion if you haven't read the book. It's a short review but in summary: Good book, good film, ages 10 and up to fully apreciate some of the more complex aspects.