Odd Man Out

Odd Man Out

by Sarah Ellis
     
 

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Winner of the Sheila A. Egoff Children’s Literature Prize and the TD CCBC Canadian Children's Literature Award

Kip is spending the summer with his grandmother and his five eccentric girl cousins, including Emily, who thinks she's a dog. Gran's house is about to be demolished, so anything goes, whether it's drawing maps on the walls or

Overview

Winner of the Sheila A. Egoff Children’s Literature Prize and the TD CCBC Canadian Children's Literature Award

Kip is spending the summer with his grandmother and his five eccentric girl cousins, including Emily, who thinks she's a dog. Gran's house is about to be demolished, so anything goes, whether it's drawing maps on the walls or sawing off the knob at the bottom of the banister for a smoother ride.

When Kip bashes through an old closet, he discovers the binder his late father kept as a teenager. He's bewildered by what he finds: puzzling lists, hair samples, old newspaper clippings and business cards -- all accompanying a confidential report written by a mysterious young operative who is carrying out a secret plan to infect teenagers with a cell-altering virus.

This wonderful novel has all the Sarah Ellis hallmarks -- quirky characters, insight and wit -- underpinned by resonant themes of family, memory and the creative imagination.

Upcoming from Sarah Ellis in May 2014

Outside In: Eight years after the publication of Odd Man Out, Sarah Ellis returns to Groundwood Books with a highly anticipated new novel about family, friendship, materialism and beauty.

Editorial Reviews

VOYA - Rachel L. Wadham
When his mother remarries and heads off on her honeymoon, Kip is sent to stay the summer with his grandmother, who is also hosting five of his girl cousins. Finding himself ensconced among very eccentric girls, Kip struggles to find his place. When Kip discovers a binder made by his late father when he was a teenager, things begin to change as he becomes entranced by its story of a mysterious young operative who is recruited to carry out a secret plan to stop a nefarious plot to infect all teenagers with a cell-altering virus. Illustrated with detailed hand-drawn pictures, old newspaper clippings, business cards, and other oddities, the binder's tale prompts Kip to discover the long-held secret of his father's mental illness. While revealing secrets, Kip's experience also leads him on a journey of discovery about himself and connects him to his cousins, his grandmother, and his new stepfather. Ellis, an award-winning Canadian author, offers an insightful character study in this novel. Kip is a sharp character who will connect with many readers. The eccentric supporting cast offers a good counterpoint to Kip, who is always the novel's main focus. Often, however, readers are left getting only Kip's point of view, leaving the others nearly undeveloped. The novel's surreal tone makes some portions of the text confusing, but the themes of growing up, accepting change, and finding out where one belongs make it a universally appealing work that teens will enjoy if led to it.
School Library Journal
Gr 5-8-Twelve-year-old Kip is spending the summer with his grandmother and his five cousins, all of whom are full of enthusiasm, action, and talk. His mother has just remarried and he is not sure what life will be like when the newlyweds get back from Hawaii. Gran's seaside home is like nowhere else. The house has been sold and will be demolished soon so Kip and the girls are free to write on the walls, paint them, and bash them with sledgehammers if they wish, and the cousins do so with gusto. The onslaught of the girls takes a while to adjust to, but Kip has the attic bedroom as his retreat. There he finds his deceased father's adolescent journal, a notebook filled with a story of espionage, secret plots, and a boy called the "Operative." Kip feels an instant connection to this story and comes to see that Tristan was the same sort of kid that he is. But this image is shattered when Kip learns that his father suffered from paranoia and delusions and that the journal was the record of life as he saw it, not a story he was writing. This is a thoughtful and often funny book of a boy on the verge of adolescence challenged to think-of his father, mother, cousins, life-in a different way. Kip must find his place in his immediate and extended family, and this summer is the first step. Give this rich novel to readers who enjoyed Hillary McKay's Casson family quartet and The Exiles series (both S & S).-Terrie Dorio, Santa Monica Public Library, CA Copyright 2006 Reed Business Information.

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9781554981632
Publisher:
Groundwood Books Ltd
Publication date:
07/31/2006
Sold by:
Barnes & Noble
Format:
NOOK Book
Pages:
160
File size:
664 KB
Age Range:
9 - 12 Years

Meet the Author

Sarah Ellis is the author of sixteen books for young readers, including The Baby Project and Odd Man Out. She has won the Mr. Christie’s Book Award, the Violet Downey Book Award, the Governor General’s Award, the Sheila A. Egoff Children’s Literature Prize and the TD Canadian Children’s Literature Award. Her books have been translated into French, Spanish, Danish, Chinese and Japanese. She is a masthead reviewer for the Horn Book Magazine and was recently writer-in-residence at the Toronto Public Library.

In 2013 Sarah was nominated for the prestigious Astrid Lindgren Memorial Award, children’s literature’s richest prize. She was also honored with the 2013 Lieutenant Governor’s Award for Literary Excellence.

Sarah teaches in the MFA program at Vermont College of Fine Arts.

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