Forgive the River, Forgive the Sky

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Other Editions: Hardcover

Twelve-year-old Lily Star loves the Sandy River, which flows through the small northern town that she’s lived in all her life. "But as much as I love it," she says, "I can’t forgive it." She holds the grudge because her father died while fishing on the river—and her whole life changed after that.

She and her mother had to leave the cabin in the ...

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2003-10 Paperback Brand NEW copy! Accelerated Reader AR 4.5. Recommended for children in grades 4 through 8. New paperback copy. From the publisher: After her father dies in ... the river they both love, twelve-year-old Lily struggles to come to terms with her loss, and in so doing, she helps a paraplegic former pilot accept his condition and move on with his life. Wm. B. Eerdmans Publishing, 2003. This edition is currently out of print. Read more Show Less

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2003-10 Paperback New SHIPPING UPGRADE TO 1ST CLASS EXPEDITED IN US. Brand New soft cover. Nice tight book. Text is clean and unmarked. No remainder marks. Packaged carefully ... and sent promptly with free tracking number in US. Satisfaction guaranteed with fast, friendly service and easy returns. Thousands of orders shipped. Thank you for your order. Read more Show Less

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Overview

Other Editions: Hardcover

Twelve-year-old Lily Star loves the Sandy River, which flows through the small northern town that she’s lived in all her life. "But as much as I love it," she says, "I can’t forgive it." She holds the grudge because her father died while fishing on the river—and her whole life changed after that.

She and her mother had to leave the cabin in the woods on the river, the home Lily grew up in, and move into an apartment in town. What makes city living even worse for Lily is that a mysterious stranger moved into her home on the river and is building a fence that keeps her away from the land she knows and loves. Independent and strong-willed, Lily confronts the stranger about the fence and gradually gets to know him. As they become friends, she learns that he is struggling with loss and forgiveness just as she is.

After her father dies in the river they both love, twelve-year-old Lily struggles to come to terms with her loss, and in so doing, she helps a paraplegic former pilot accept his condition and move on with his life.

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Editorial Reviews

CBA Marketplace
Whelan's love and knowledge of nature make the descriptions of the river and land almost poetic. Lily is feisty and teen readers will appreciate her independence and struggles. . . . Whelan has crafted a fine book—the characters are vivid, the story line strong, and the theme smacks of bittersweet life in the real world.
Kliatt
A gentle story that celebrates the outdoors. . . . Whelan has a marvelous style that sounds just right as she creates her characters, puts them in a special place, and helps them grow and learn. It would be a good read-aloud choice, especially at the sixth-grade level.
Library Materials Guide
Appreciative of God's nature, Whelan has written a narrative that points to the beauty of both the flora and the fauna of backwoods and rivers. Well-written and thought provoking, it will be a good addition to both school and personal libraries.
Children's Literature - Christopher Moning
Twelve-year-old Lily Star was happy living on the banks of the Sandy River. But then the river killed her father, and her mother moved them to an apartment in town. Now a mysterious stranger has taken over her cabin and built a fence around the land she loves. Lily needs to know if the beavers still have their lodge in the pond, if the loon has returned to its nest, if the moccasin flowers are in bloom yet. Lily Star is not one to let a fence keep her from what she needs to know. Caught red-handed trying to break into her former home, Lily befriends T.R., a former pilot now confined to a wheelchair. T.R. has his own demons to deal with. Together Lily and T.R. learn to let go of their anger and go on living and loving. The descriptions of the flora and fauna of Northern Michigan are vivid. The Sandy River becomes a character in itself in this fine story.
School Library Journal
Gr 4-6-Twelve-year-old Lily Star moves from her family's rural 40 acres on the Sandy River to a small apartment over the hardware store in town following her mother's sale of the land to the mysterious T. R. Tracy. Lily is terribly attached to her previous home and connects its loss with the loss of her father, who died a year earlier. After their initial suspicions of one another, she and T. R. begin to bond when they nurse an injured bird back to health. T. R. is a former test pilot whose legs have been disabled in an airplane accident, and both he and Lily are angry at the changes forced upon them by fate. It's not a great surprise that by the end of the story the pair have not only forged a friendship, but that they also come to an acceptance of their respective situations. The plot settles neatly with T. R. back in the air testing planes designed for the disabled and Lily taking care of her old home for him. The first-person narrative may help readers to identify with Lily and her problems, but the descriptive vocabulary is limited, and some sentence transitions are choppy. The episodic story line is simply not compelling enough to bear out the serious themes that Whelan introduces in the very late chapters. Forgiving nature for taking away a beloved person or experience is a worthy endeavor, but the sum of this novel's disjointed parts don't quite add up to the whole of the poignant resolution.-Peg Solonika, Carnegie Library of Pittsburgh, PA
Kirkus Reviews
In a patchy but engaging short novel, a child cures a hurt of her own by battering down the emotional walls an injured man has erected around himself. A year after her father died of a heart attack while fishing in his beloved river, Lily watches fences going up around her former home, and resolves that they won't keep her out. She lovesþand blamesþthe river, and finds, in the house's new owner, someone who is just as ambivalent about the sky: Paraplegic ex-test pilot T.R. Tracy considered the sky safe before a crash robbed him of the use of his legs. Lily ignores T.R.'s attempts to fend her off, and they quickly become friends. Although Lily doesn't make T.R. a "project," readers will understand how she draws him out of his self-imposed shell; on the other hand, a string of activities with her friend Laura is only weakly connected to the main story, and T.R., though wheelchair-bound, gets around with suspicious ease. The supporting characters are sketchy, but Lily is as irresistible as a force of nature, and the northern Michigan setting has almost as much presence. In the end, T.R. accepts an offer to test aircraft adapted for disabled pilots, and Lily discovers that her grief is no longer quite so sharp. The story never really comes together, but readers will appreciate Lily's take- no-prisoners style of dealing with adults. (Fiction. 10-12)
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780802852564
  • Publisher: Eerdmans, William B. Publishing Company
  • Publication date: 10/21/2003
  • Pages: 90
  • Age range: 9 - 15 Years
  • Lexile: 750L (what's this?)
  • Product dimensions: 5.46 (w) x 8.28 (h) x 0.29 (d)

Meet the Author

Gloria Whelan
Gloria Whelan

National Book Award-winning author Gloria Whelan weaves rich historical detail into this compelling mystery. Ms. Whelan is the bestselling author of many novels for young readers, including Homeless Bird, winner of the National Book Award, Parade of Shadows, and Listening for Lions. She lives in northern Michigan.

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