March 27, 2011
Thistledown Press | March 11, 2010 | Trade Paperback; 190 pages; $12.95 ISBN: 978-1897235-71-3
The simplistic realism of this cover … of a young woman paddling a kayak toward the sunset is what first drew my attention to this book!
Serenity and peace … an image that also conjurs a feeling of enjoyment and relaxation. At the onset, author Spring cleverly has the reader believing in this “sense of freedom” and even Teresa’s own words while kayaking …. “This is a mystical place. Out here I feel safe and secure.” is a contradiction of what this story is really about….. that of a young woman facing major psychological and physical challenges in order to enjoy the freedoms she once took for granted.
Teresa , once a typical teenager, hanging with friends, and running track until a tragic accident changes not only her life but that of her family’s. Entering adolescence is difficult enough for teens, but add insecurities, anger, and doubts and Teresa struggles to push herself to attempt things that she’s never done before. As Teresa battles her physical and psychological demons we also see the impact these adversities have upon her parents and sister.
This is a powerful touching story with a protagonist that displays courage, determination and grit, but also has an inner depth that truly has the reader cheering for her!
Genre: Realistic Fiction; Romance
Interest Level: Intermediate/ Senior students; interest in the Physically challenged
June 8, 2010
Fountas and Pinnell Reading Level: Z Grade Level: 5-7
Literature Circle set ( 6 copies) available at Classroom Support Centre
Red Maple Nominee 2010 , 251 pp.
“Fourteen year old Al changes his destiny by following his dream to become an explorer. Al’s journey begins off the rugged coast of Newfoundland in his handmade submarine. As he travels through east coast waters he rescues a family of four, finds a lost treasure, eludes the coast guard and the navy, befriends a seagull and an abandoned dog, meets a “queen” of the sea, and saves a lost boy. Al’s nautical adventures make him a celebrity but his ability to evade the police makes him an outlaw.”
Review by Karen:
Meet Alfred — a fourteen year old boy who steadfastly refuses to follow in the family tradition of going to sea as a fisherman. However a chance glance through a hole in the local junkyard fence sparks Albert’s imagination and lights the flame of adventure and exploration. Unexpected friendships, responsibilities and self discovery all become a part of Alfred’s own journey “out to sea”.
Highly recommended !!
Theme: Self-discovery; Adventure; Friendship
Teacher / Curriculum Connections: Canadian Geography /History (Eastern Maritime History)
February 24, 2010
Violet Raines is an energetic, animated and sometimes saucy young girl who is confronted at a critical moment of adolescence with change, in the guise of a ‘newcomer’ named Melissa, to her sleepy Florida town of Mitchell Hammock. She is unsure what to really make of this ‘big city girl from Detroit’ and what is could spell for her friendship with Lottie. As everything that Violet knows begins to change, she struggles with an entire range of emotions, from jealously, humour, stubbornness, anger and loyalty. I smiled at Violet’s penchant for collecting words and keeping them in a shoebox and then combining her skill words with passion and honesty as she helps Lottie and her family with their financial difficulties.
This truly sweet coming of age story by Haworth reminded me of a book I read called : My One Hundred Adventure by Polly Horvath (Canadian Author)
Reading Ability: Junior (grade 4, 5, 6)
Genre: Friendship; Tweens; Best friends; Jealousy; Coming of Age; Humour; Florida
Theme: Summer; Realistic fiction; Adolescence; Growing up; Childhood
Who would like this book? Young girls ages 9 to 12
Teacher on-line resources: Reading guide