Blackberries in the Dark

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Overview

It’s the first summer after Austin’s grandfather has died and he’s not sure how much he’ll enjoy his visit to the farm with just his grandmother for company, especially since this was the summer his grandfather was going to teach him to fly-fish. Everything feels different, and without Grandpa, it seems as though traditions are lost. But with a string of beads and a spur-of-the-moment fishing trip, Austin and his grandmother learn how to keep memories of Grandpa alive–and begin ...
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Blackberries in the Dark

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Overview

It’s the first summer after Austin’s grandfather has died and he’s not sure how much he’ll enjoy his visit to the farm with just his grandmother for company, especially since this was the summer his grandfather was going to teach him to fly-fish. Everything feels different, and without Grandpa, it seems as though traditions are lost. But with a string of beads and a spur-of-the-moment fishing trip, Austin and his grandmother learn how to keep memories of Grandpa alive–and begin some new traditions of their own.

Nine-year-old Austin visits his grandmother the summer after his grandfather dies and together they try to come to terms with their loss.

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
The Newberry Honor author tells a heartwarming story of a boy visiting his grandmother after his grandfather's death. Ages 7-1O. Oct.
School Library Journal
Gr 2-4 Nine-year-old Austin visits his grandmother for the first time since his granddad's death. The awkwardness of that first day does not lead to a morose story; instead, it is one of love, shared feelings and family. Grandma and Austin recall the last time all of them were together: Grandpa and Austin had gone fishing; they picked blackberries in the dark and Grandma made a pie which they ate in the middle of the night. After holding each other and crying together, Austin trots off to pick berries followed by Grandma, outfitted in Grandpa's fishing gear. Old memories are cast into new traditions as they pick berries in the dark. The togetherness is fortified when Grandma adds a link of heritage by giving Austin her antique doll and Grandpa's trout-shaped fishing knife. The simple actions and genuine emotions are accentuated by subtleties of language and intertwining of phrases. Skillfully succinct descriptions shape the composition and the characterizations. The black-and-white illustrations match the simplicity of the short story without overshadowing its poignancy. Jukes has smoothly cast a sensitive, touching story with just the right wrist action to produce bubbles of humor, deep understanding and familial images as clear as a trout stream. It's a wonderful catch. Julie Cummins, Monroe County Lib . System, Rochester, N.Y.
From the Publisher
“Poignant and perceptive.”
Booklist, Starred

“A sensitive, touching story.”
School Library Journal, Starred
.

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780394975993
  • Publisher: Random House Children's Books
  • Publication date: 7/9/2002
  • Format: Library Binding
  • Edition description: REV
  • Pages: 48
  • Age range: 7 - 11 Years
  • Product dimensions: 7.18 (w) x 9.28 (h) x 0.40 (d)

Meet the Author

Mavis Jukes is the award-winning author of several books for children and teenagers, including the Newbery Honor Book Like Jake and Me .  Her other titles include No One is Going to Nashville , Blackberries in the Dark , Getting Even , Wild Iris Bloom , and I'll See You in My Dreams .  Mavis taught school for several years — and was a lawyer — before becoming a children's book writer.  She volunteers as an attorney in the area of juvenile defense and is presently a language arts specialist in a public elementary school.

She lives with her husband, the artist Robert Hudson, and their teenage daughters in Sonoma County, California.  

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