Parents of reluctant reader boys have a tough time finding something to compete with boy-friendly action video games. Here’s a book that offers plenty of page turning.
THE LAST LOON by Rebecca Upjohn, Orca Young Readers, 2010
The first thing going for this book is that it doesn’t look intimidating. It’s not long. Set in Canada, it has wilderness and adventure seeping out from behind the inviting cover.
Evan is 11 and makes choices that are not always wise. A city boy, he feels dumped by his family when he’s sent to spend Christmas holidays with an aunt he hardly knows in her lake cabin--a way too desolate place for Evan's taste. The lake is freezing, literally, and one loon has not left with the others. Evan fights the impulse, but the plight of the loon and its likely death leads Evan to risk his own life.
Evan makes a friend, Cedar, who is a little better than Evan at following directions from the well-meaning, concerned adults. But then, Cedar has to live there after Evan goes home. He might be concerned about being grounded forever.
The boys’ voices are authentic and their actions are believable.
The author lives in Toronto with her sons. The cover and first 14 pages of this book are displayed on her web page, a great introduction to Evan and his dilemma.
I wonder if the author has experienced similar escapades with her own teens? If not, my hunch is she knows parents who have.
I know I do.