×

Uh-oh, it looks like your Internet Explorer is out of date.

For a better shopping experience, please upgrade now.

The Eagle Kite
     

The Eagle Kite

by Paula Fox
 

See All Formats & Editions

When Liam was 10 he smashed and buried the eagle kite his father had given to him. It was the morning he saw his father with someone. Liam has kept that memory hidden for three years. Now, his mother tells him his father is sick from a blood transfusion. But Liam knows the truth. His father has AIDS and he has moved to live alone in a cabin by the beach. An ALA

Overview

When Liam was 10 he smashed and buried the eagle kite his father had given to him. It was the morning he saw his father with someone. Liam has kept that memory hidden for three years. Now, his mother tells him his father is sick from a blood transfusion. But Liam knows the truth. His father has AIDS and he has moved to live alone in a cabin by the beach. An ALA Notable Book for Children. A School Library Journal Best Book of the Year. A Booklist's Editor's Choice.

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
Liam's father is dying of AIDS. His mother tells him a recent blood transfusion is to blame, but Liam knows she's lying, because his sex-education class has taught him about the improved safety of transfusions and, more importantly, because of an elusive scrap of memory. Soon, that memory surfaces-several years ago, he had glimpsed his father embracing a man at the beach. Liam's anger at his family's refusal to be honest with him, as well as the shame and betrayal he feels over his father's homosexual affair, is almost insurmountable. Only when he spends time alone with his father, who has removed himself to a cabin by the sea, does the rift between them begin to be healed. Fox (The Slave Dancer; Western Wind) tackles this weighty subject with characteristic aplomb and grace. Though dispassionate, Fox's prose is fraught with perception; it is even at times transcendent. Describing the truth that Liam has been forced to acknowledge but cannot bring himself to share with others, she writes: "He felt it packed inside of him like a furled parachute, grief and anger and puzzlement. A touch on the rip cord, that one word, would release the whole of it." The author's refusal to diminish the tangled emotional issues that underlie her story quietly challenges all preconceptions, and readers cannot help but be deeply affected. Ages 11-14. (Apr.)
School Library Journal - School Library Journal
Gr 8-12Liam, a high school freshman, learns that his father is dying of AIDS. Suddenly, his comfortable family is in pieces, and his father has gone to live in a seashore cottage two hours from the family's city apartment. Distanced from both parents by secrets each of them seems compelled to keep, Liam remembers having seen his father embrace a young man years beforea friend, his father had said. In the remainder of the book, Liam and his parents wrestle with truths that encompass not just disappointment and betrayal, but intense love. This is far more than a problem novel. AIDS is integral to the plot, the issue is handled well, and the character who has AIDS is portayed sympathetically, but the book's scope is broader than that. It is a subtly textured exploration of the emotions of grief that will appeal to the same young people drawn to Mollie Hunter's A Sound of Chariots (HarperCollins, 1972) and Cynthia Rylant's Missing May (Orchard, 1992). Dramatic tension is palpable, sustained in part by a dazed, timeless quality in Liam's slow reckoning with loss. The characters are neither idealized nor demonized, and Fox's take on Liam as a confused, seethingly angry, tight-lipped, surreptitiously tender teenager has the ring of authenticity. Some in the target audience may find the action too slow or the mood too dark, but those who persevere will be rewarded by the novel's truthfulness.Claudia Morrow, Berkeley Public Library, CA
Hazel Rochman
TITLR /*Starred Review*/ Gr. 6-10. Liam's father is dying of AIDS. He got it from a blood transfusion, Liam's mother says. My father has cancer, Liam tells his girlfriend. But Liam remembers what he has made himself forget, that more than two years earlier he had seen his father embrace a young man on the beach. Now, through the long, dreary months of the illness, while his father lives alone in a rented cottage on the shore, Liam goes through a tangled mess of denial, anger, shame, grief, and empathy. As in Fox's "Village by the Sea"" (1988), there's an unkind relative, an aunt who knows she's mean and is helpless to be otherwise. And as in "One-Eyed Cat" (1984), the sick parent is flawed, funny, gentle. Fox writes in ordinary words about universal things: love and death and lies and also time and memory--how they seem and what they are. The story confronts our deepest fears: what if the scarecrow beggar out there on the street, the statistic in sex-ed class, the demon of the howling mob came right into our comfortable home? Scenes burn in your memory: that embrace on the beach, the suppressed fury in the pauses of conversation. Fox avoids nothing about the dying and the anguish of survival. The plain note Philip leaves for his wife and son says it all: "My two dears. There's hardly anything left of me."

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780531068922
Publisher:
Scholastic, Inc.
Publication date:
04/28/1995
Pages:
144
Product dimensions:
5.77(w) x 8.48(h) x 0.69(d)
Lexile:
740L (what's this?)
Age Range:
12 - 17 Years

Meet the Author

Brief Biography

Hometown:
Brooklyn, New York
Date of Birth:
April 22, 1923
Place of Birth:
New York, New York
Education:
Attended Columbia University

Customer Reviews

Average Review:

Post to your social network

     

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

See all customer reviews