- Author: Henning Mankell
- Publisher: Delacorte Books for Young Readers
- Published: December 2007
- ISBN-10: 0385734956
- ISBN-13: 9780385734950
- Format: Hardcover
- Size: 5.75 X 0.75 X 8.25
- Weight: 0.65 lbs.
- Copyright: 2007
- Subject: JUVENILE FICTION / People & Places / Europe
Joel lives with his father in a small town in northern Sweden. They used to live by the sea when his father was a sailor, but his father abandoned the ocean and Joel's mother abandoned Joel and his father. One misty night, Joel spots a lonely dog outside on the street. He begins to sneak out at night to try and find it. One night, Joel discovers that his father's bed is also empty. This sweet and startling mystery weaves magic and beautiful imagery to create a powerful story of love. Joel begins to learn his own inner strength and learns about adult disappointments and needs. A tender tale that will leave readers full of hope, this book should not be missed. (Ages 10 and up).
Eleven-year-old Joel lives with his father in a remote village in the north of Sweden. His father is a lumberjack, but the stories he tells Joel are always of his adventures as a seaman. Why did his father give up the life of a seaman to become a lumberjack so far from the sea he loved? And why did his mother abandon them? These and other unanswered questions fill Joel's mind while awake and asleep. He has a rich imagination that allows him to embellish his father's stories and to create fantasies of his own. So the dog he sees outside his window becomes a mystical creature that will lead him to the stars, or at least far away from the cold and snow. He sneaks out night after night, and has several adventures, including a near tragedy that changes his relationship with his father and brings them closer together. Adult author Mankell has crafted an unusual coming-of-age tale, with several unexpected twists. Although narrated in the third person, the use of the present tense brings the reader directly into Joel's thoughts and establishes an empathetic relationship. Compelling. (Fiction. YA) Copyright Kirkus 2007 Kirkus/BPI Communications. All rights reserved.
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