Leftovers

( 3 )

Overview

I make it to the flagpole second to last. No Poo Patrol for me. Not today. Today I draw the Grooming straw. Forget my own grooming; for three leisurely hours this morning, I'll be washing, drying, fluffing and brushing out the matted and dirt-encrusted coats of a dozen-odd dogs of questionable parentage. Not that my own parentage is anything to brag about.

Fifteen-year-old Sarah Greene's father-chef by day, camera buff by night-choked to death on a piece of steak. It was the ...

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Leftovers

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Overview

I make it to the flagpole second to last. No Poo Patrol for me. Not today. Today I draw the Grooming straw. Forget my own grooming; for three leisurely hours this morning, I'll be washing, drying, fluffing and brushing out the matted and dirt-encrusted coats of a dozen-odd dogs of questionable parentage. Not that my own parentage is anything to brag about.

Fifteen-year-old Sarah Greene's father-chef by day, camera buff by night-choked to death on a piece of steak. It was the best day of Sarah's life. But in the aftermath of his death, Sarah has a brief skirmish with the law. She is sentenced to do community service hours at Camp Dog Gone Fun, a summer program for shelter dogs, where a big goofy dog name Judy brings something to her life she's never experienced-unconditional acceptance-and a quirky guy named Sullivan turns out to have some issues of his own.

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Editorial Reviews

Puget Sound Council for Reviewing Children's Media
"The atmosphere of the camp and Sarah's often humorous tone are particularly effective at conveying the story in a way not too bogged down in angst. This would be a good choice for teens with an interest in realistic fiction."
CM Magazine
"There is enough humour in the book to mitigate the tension when necessary, but Waldorf allows the tension to build nicely to the climax of the book. Leftovers is an excellent book... [that] draws readers in, taking them on a journey that is both sad and inspirational and always thought-provoking. Recommended."
Random Buzz: Teens at Random website
"[Waldorf] did an excellent job portraying the emotions that a sexual abuse victim experiences. I found Sarah to be a very believable and sympathetic character...A really touching story."
Resource Links
"Waldorf does an excellent job of not allowing Sarah to become a one-dimensional victim; instead, Sarah's response to her abuse forms only one facet of her character...Deals with a challenging topic with tasteful humour and interesting characters that will appeal to older teenage readers. Highly recommended."
Southwestern Ohio Young Adult Materials Review Group
"The revelation of Sarah's sexual abuse is very emotional, but not graphic in detail. This well-written novel handles a difficult topic well, and is comparable to Laurie Halse Anderson's Speak. Recommended."
What If? Magazine
"A fluid, wonderful story of how you can learn to deal with your past and the power of unconditional love and acceptance... A great read for any teen."
TeensReadToo.com
"Leftovers really has it all – humor, reality, family drama, and a little bit of romance to satisfy all reader's interests."
Canadian Teacher Magazine
"[A] heartfelt and humor-filled story…Without being sentimental or judgmental, Waldorf manages to construct a compelling account of an adolescent struggling to find herself. It is beautifully written, a page-turner."
Quill & Quire
"Waldorf's respect for her readers comes through not just in the words she puts on the page, but also in the ideas she allows readers to come up with on their own. Leftovers is a frank novel that asks the reader to come to grips with the central character's feelings of shame and guilt - the 'leftovers' of abuse that give the book its title."
Random Buzz: Teens at Random website
[Waldorf] did an excellent job portraying the emotions that a sexual abuse victim experiences. I found Sarah to be a very believable and sympathetic character...A really touching story.
Children's Literature - Heather N. Kolich
A freak-out over a snapshot lands fifteen-year-old Sarah Greene on an island in the St. Lawrence River with several other juvenile offenders. There, she is to complete 400 hours of community service at a summer camp for dogs. The confinement leaves her with no way to complete the desperate mission she was on when she stole and subsequently crashed her mother's boyfriend's car—until the camp counselor's son, a boy she's been in school with since first grade, offers to take her across the river into Ottawa for a concert if she'll help him finish a project for his stepfather, the veterinarian who runs the camp. Sarah jumps at the chance, but plans to dump the boy at the concert. There, she will make her own way into the city, to the locked-up restaurant owned by her recently deceased father where she believes she will find the shameful evidence of the sexual abuse he inflicted on her from the earliest days of her memory. Sarah thinks that if she destroys the photographs and keep anyone else from finding out about the abuse, she can move on with her life. But Sarah is not the only one on the island trying to adjust to life-changing circumstances. A network of supporting characters adds interest, depth and complexity to the story. They help Sarah break out of her self-imposed isolation. With their support—and the completion of her mission, although not quite the way she'd planned—Sarah begins to anticipate a future of positive possibilities. Waldorf develops the plot skillfully and gently, allowing the reader to figure out early on what Sarah is hiding. It is disturbing, however, that she found it necessary to demonize two fathers in this very small population as sexuallyabusive of their daughters; with the exception of the reform camp counselors, all of the juveniles' parents are portrayed as abusive or negligent. Reviewer: Heather N. Kolich
VOYA - Sherrie Williams
Sarah Greene's father died more than a year ago, and everyone thinks that it is simply grief that causes the fifteen year old to act out. In fact, Sarah is relieved that her chef father choked to death. His death finally ended the years of abuse that Sarah endured, keeping quiet as her father took hundreds of pornographic photographs of her. Now she desperately seeks to find those pictures before someone else does. After crashing a stolen car while looking for the box of photos, she is sentenced to community service at Camp Dog Gone Fun, a wilderness camp for difficult-to-adopt shelter dogs. In getting to know the misfits there (both canine and human), Sarah begins to see a future for herself beyond the trauma of her earlier years. Although this book features a painfully heavy topic—the creation of pornography featuring a child by a parent—it is not overly explicit. There are a wide variety of story lines to follow concerning the troubled dogs and teens at the summer camp, but the book never gets bogged down and the characters are well fleshed out. As with many books published by Orca, this title has a strong appeal for reluctant readers. It will particularly draw girl readers, thanks to its mix of recovery and light summer camp romance. The conclusion is cathartic and realistic, featuring layers of themes and character development that will hold reader's interests to the end. Reviewer: Sherrie Williams
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781551439372
  • Publisher: Orca Book Publishers
  • Publication date: 4/1/2009
  • Pages: 208
  • Sales rank: 945,361
  • Age range: 12 - 18 Years
  • Lexile: 840L (what's this?)
  • Product dimensions: 5.50 (w) x 8.20 (h) x 0.60 (d)

Meet the Author

Heather Waldorf was born in Ottawa and raised in small-town Eastern Ontario. She now lives in Toronto with Moose, a twelve-year-old golden retriever. Heather is addicted to green tea, jigsaw puzzles, mystery novels and the tv show Bones. Also a lover of the great outdoors, she's never written a novel that doesn't, at some point, put the main character in a canoe. Heather has written several books for teen readers; Leftovers is her first book with Orca Book Publishers.
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Read an Excerpt

I make it to the flagpole second to last. No Poo Patrol for me. Not today. Today I draw the Grooming straw. Forget my own grooming; for three leisurely hours this morning, I'll be washing, drying, fluffing and brushing out the matted and dirt-encrusted coats of a dozen-odd dogs of questionable parentage. Not that my own parentage is anything to brag about.
Read More Show Less

Customer Reviews

Average Rating 3.5
( 3 )
Rating Distribution

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(1)

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Sort by: Showing all of 3 Customer Reviews
  • Posted January 10, 2011

    It was okay.

    I enjoyed it. It was a little boring and I read it along with my sister. She is 12 it took her a while to finish it because it didnt catch her attention. I feel like it needed a better development or probably not be as vague. Overall it was pretty good. Would had been a bit more catchy if the plot didn't end so quickly towards the end.

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  • Posted March 10, 2010

    more from this reviewer

    Reviewed by Tasha for TeensReadToo.com

    In most cases, when a father dies, their daughter would be distraught, but in Sarah Greene's case relief floods over her. With his death, it means that there will be no more chances for her father to abuse her and take pictures. Along with the relief, though, comes a nagging feeling due to a still-hidden shoebox in her father's old restaurant filled with questionable photos that she is determined to destroy.

    When her desperation to find the box hits an all-time high, she takes her mother's car and crashes it - landing her in a whole heap of trouble with the law. Her punishment: doing summer-long community service at Camp Dog Gone, where shelter dogs go for a vacation.

    While at "camp," Sarah befriends a big romping dog named Judy - who is just as troubled as Sarah - another troubled soul, Sullivan, and several other people who help her turn her life around slowly but surely. As she comes to realize what is important in her life, she breaks out of her shell that the past created and starts to heal, looking towards a brighter future.

    This book is unlike any that I have read before. It takes a dark subject - sexual abuse - and turns it into a journey of healing. Using a fun background, the author explores the hurt that accompanies abuse and how other people (or animals, in this case) help to heal. The plot turned out to be really cute and I loved the setting with all of the dogs running around.

    The characters were also quite interesting. Sarah was so guarded that at times it was hard to see who she really was, but as the end of the book approached it was neat to see her personality really unfold. I also really like Sullivan. He seemed like such a happy-go-lucky kind of guy until you found out about his secrets, which made him very realistic. Another aspect that really stood out to me was the characterization of the dogs. Each had their own unique personality that made the reader feel as if they were curled up at their own feet.

    LEFTOVERS really has it all - humor, reality, family drama, and a little bit of romance to satisfy all reader's interests. It was a great book that I really enjoyed and urge you all to go out and pick up a copy for yourself.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 14, 2013

    No text was provided for this review.

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