Overview

A friendship blossoms when 16-year-old Carly interviews feisty 93-year-old Leah for her local history project and Leah shares her fascinating life's story—of a girl whose rich imagination rescues her from a grim reality, and an unlikely boy who changes everything The boy sat in the branches of the fifth tree on the left, his scuffed boots dangling. Leah turned her eyes up. His face was heavily freckled, his eyes large, brown and almond-shaped. His hair stuck out at wild angles. 'Hello,' she said. ...
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Overview

A friendship blossoms when 16-year-old Carly interviews feisty 93-year-old Leah for her local history project and Leah shares her fascinating life's story—of a girl whose rich imagination rescues her from a grim reality, and an unlikely boy who changes everything The boy sat in the branches of the fifth tree on the left, his scuffed boots dangling. Leah turned her eyes up. His face was heavily freckled, his eyes large, brown and almond-shaped. His hair stuck out at wild angles. 'Hello,' she said. When Leah Cartwright was five years old her father went to the barn, put a shotgun in his mouth, and pulled the trigger. Soon afterwards a boy appeared to Leah, in a tree in the orchard—a secret friend. Leah called him Adam, and she grew to love him. As a child on an isolated farm with only her fierce yet loving mother and her dog, Pagan, for company, Leah treasured books—the stories within them and the places they could take her. Now she is old, and a gifted storyteller, so when 16-year-old Carly interviews her for her local history project, Leah uses the magic of story to draw Carly into her present, her past, her secrets, and her unique friendship with Adam. This beautifully told novel is a bittersweet tale of hope, faith, consequences, and true love.
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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher

"Jonsberg’s prose is spare, his pacing excellent, his plotting memorable."  —Publishers Weekly on Dreamrider

"From Australia comes another great piece of YA literature with wit, zing and depth. Plenty of on-the-spot humor. . . . Readers will laugh, cry and, without trying, learn."  —Kirkus Reviews on Am I Right or Am I Right

"It is beautifully told with rich images of flawed characters." — School Library Journal
 

"The power of storytelling as a means to tackle fear, faith, love, loss, and aging." — Booklist Online

School Library Journal
Gr 9 Up—This book about the importance of story in one's life has two narrative arcs. The first is about the aged Leah Cartwright, who lives in a nursing home waiting for the end of her life. Enter Carly, a teenager who wants to interview her for a school assignment. Leah is happy to share, just not about local history and how people lived when she was young. The second story focuses on Leah's childhood. Her father's suicide when she is young binds her to her mother, who has difficulty sharing her daughter even with a dog. Leah is so lonely that she conjures up a boy who she names Adam. He helps Leah visit the worlds that she has found through books. The novel is written from an adult's perspective with the elderly Leah as narrator. It is beautifully told with rich images of flawed characters and more description than action. Though Carly is a teen and Leah tells about her young life, it is not likely to speak to most teens.—Elizabeth Kahn, Patrick F. Taylor Science & Technology Academy, Jefferson, LA
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781742692463
  • Publisher: Allen & Unwin Pty., Limited
  • Publication date: 10/1/2012
  • Sold by: Barnes & Noble
  • Format: eBook
  • Pages: 258
  • Age range: 14 years
  • File size: 779 KB

Meet the Author

Barry Jonsberg is the author of Am I Right or Am I Right?, The Crimes and Punishments of Miss Payne, Dreamrider, and Ironbark.
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