In the Language of Loons

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Overview

t was summer, 1969, and for all his life, Arlis would remember it because of the loons Spending the summer with his grandparents opened new worlds for Arlis. He was glad to be away from his father, who was always too busy to spend time with him anyway. That wasnÆt the case with Grandpa. Grandpa taught him about the stars, about birds, and most especially about having faith in himself and the need to take responsibility for your actions. It was the summer he started to run, and realized he could be good at ...
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Overview

t was summer, 1969, and for all his life, Arlis would remember it because of the loons Spending the summer with his grandparents opened new worlds for Arlis. He was glad to be away from his father, who was always too busy to spend time with him anyway. That wasnÆt the case with Grandpa. Grandpa taught him about the stars, about birds, and most especially about having faith in himself and the need to take responsibility for your actions. It was the summer he started to run, and realized he could be good at something if he tried hard enough. When school started that fall, even though some sad changes came as well, he was a new Arlis, one who was able to stand on his own.

During the summer that Arlis spends with his grandparents in Vermont, his grandfather teaches him about loons, cross-country running, and responsibility, and when he returns home everyone finds out how much he has changed.

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Editorial Reviews

Children's Literature - Sue Preslar
Spending the summer with his grandparents was the last thing 12-year-old Arlis had in mind. However, since his mother had already lost two babies, her doctor said she had to stay in bed if she didn't want to lose another. Arlis knew his father wouldn't notice he was gone, since all he did was work. The summer with his grandfather prepared him to deal more successfully with school in the fall when he became a champion runner on the track team, and it also paved the way to a meaningful relationship with his dad. This heart-warming story set in 1969 will teach readers a lot about loons and nature in general, but the lessons about human nature are the most rewarding. A truly inspirational read.
School Library Journal
Gr 4-7It's been a particularly bad year for 12-year-old Arlis. His father's been busy with work, his mother's been tired and preoccupied with the baby she's expecting, and he's been the target of a relentless school bully. It's almost a relief when his parents decide to send him to his grandparents' farm for the summer. There, Arlis develops a close relationship with his grandfather, who teaches him all about nature. Grandpa also helps Arlis discover his previously untapped ability as a long-distance runner. By giving him faith in himself and his abilities, and a new sense of courage, Grandpa has given his grandson wonderful gifts that come in handy when Arlis returns home to face some challenging situations, including Grandpa's sudden death. This is a touching and poignant story of a boy starting on his journey to manhood. The relationship between Arlis and his grandfather is tenderly and realistically drawn, and the other relationships and their resolutions are equally believable. While the book is set in rural Vermont in 1969, it's only details such as the family watching the moon landing on TV that reveal the time. The emotions and relationships are the true driving force of this story, and they are timeless. Readers will recognize something of themselves in Arlis's feelings of alienation and gradual discovery of self-confidence, and they will rejoice and mourn with him as he begins to find his place in the world.Arwen Marshall, New York Public Library
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780525652373
  • Publisher: Penguin Group (USA) Incorporated
  • Publication date: 3/1/1998
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 112
  • Age range: 10 - 14 Years
  • Lexile: 800L (what's this?)
  • Product dimensions: 5.74 (w) x 8.50 (h) x 0.55 (d)

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 27, 2007

    An absolutly beautiful novel

    This book was the one that got me hooked on reading!!!!! Its such a beautiful story that made me laugh, cry, and wonder!!!!Two thumbs up to Natalie Kinsey-Warnock

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