Spring has arrived, and Martin O’Boy has finally found a true home with Grampa Rip and a job at the Pure Spring soft drink company, though he lied about his age to get it. However, not everything is perfect. Martin feels bad about lying to kindly Mr. Mirsky, Pure Spring's owner, and sometimes Grampa Rip’s brain goes very far away. There's the mysterious yet familiar man in the park. There are Martin’s memories. Igor Gouzenko, the famous Soviet defector, has unexpectedly reappeared. And Martin learns that his ...
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Pure Spring

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Spring has arrived, and Martin O’Boy has finally found a true home with Grampa Rip and a job at the Pure Spring soft drink company, though he lied about his age to get it. However, not everything is perfect. Martin feels bad about lying to kindly Mr. Mirsky, Pure Spring's owner, and sometimes Grampa Rip’s brain goes very far away. There's the mysterious yet familiar man in the park. There are Martin’s memories. Igor Gouzenko, the famous Soviet defector, has unexpectedly reappeared. And Martin learns that his very peculiar, dirty-mouthed workmate and boss, Randy, is a blackmailing crook. When Martin falls in love with the beautiful Gerty McDowell, whose old grandfather is being robbed by Randy — with Martin forced to act as an accomplice — Martin’s happiness, his sense of duty, and his love for Gerty collide. It won't be easy, but he has to find a way through all of it and preserve the joy of spring. This sequel to Boy O’Boy is Brian Doyle at his brilliant best, deftly blending deeply serious, even tragic moments with great humor and pathos.
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Editorial Reviews

VOYA - Kevin Beach
Martin O'Boy first appeared as a twelve-year-old in the author's earlier book, Boy O'Boy (Groundwood/Douglas & McIntyre, 2003/VOYA April 2004). Now he is fifteen and lying about his age to get a job working for Pure Spring, a local soda manufacturer. Through a series of flashbacks, readers learn that his dysfunctional parents were killed in an automobile accident, and he now lives with a senile but loving grandfather of a neighbor. Martin immediately encounters trouble on the job as he observes a disreputable co-worker bilking and overcharging grocers on their route, and he is soon blackmailed into assisting. One of those grocers has a daughter on whom Martin has developed a crush. He spends the remainder of the story formulating a trap for the thief so as to redeem himself and Pure Spring's reputation. A Russian spy who seems to be watching the grandfather's apartment also figures into the plot. Can Martin save his job and his budding romance? The author has won a variety of Canadian accolades, and many of his works are recommended in New York Public Library's Best Books for the Teen Age. He writes about an outwardly simpler time when common decency dictated character, yet there still existed that sinister element subtly hiding in the shadows. Young readers will empathize with the main character but might not enjoy the historical setting as much as nostalgic adults who lived in the 1950s era. The story, however, is quite entertaining and is a fast read.
School Library Journal

Gr 9 Up
This sequel to Boy O'Bo y (Groundwood, 2004) is set in Canada during the Korean War. Martin O'Boy is now 15 and living with Grampa Rip, a friend's elderly grandfather, so he can care for him when "his brain goes away." Martin lies about his age in order to get a delivery job with the Pure Spring soft drink company. He is paired with mentally disturbed Randy, who steals from customers and subjects Martin to anti-Semitic rants and dirty stories. Randy discovers that Martin has lied about his age and blackmails him into silence about the thefts. When Martin falls in love with Gerty McDowell, the granddaughter of one of Randy's victims, he realizes he has to take action to make things right and to save his relationship with her. The narrative alternates between this story and flashbacks, showing what has happened to Martin's parents and his mentally ill twin brother. Although this book deals with some very serious themes of mental illness, alcoholism, and sexual misconduct, there are many humorous moments, and the book's message is ultimately one of redemption. Tough, smart Grampa Rip is a caring parental figure who guides and teaches Martin in a way his own father could not, and Gerty is a strong, clever young woman who inspires him to do what he knows is right. Not quite as bleak as its predecessor, this is a moving and often beautiful novel.
—Kathleen E. GruverCopyright 2006 Reed Business Information.

Kirkus Reviews
From one of Canada's premier wordsmiths comes a smart, stand-alone sequel to the award winning Boy O'Boy (2004). Pure Spring is not only the name of the soft-drink company where 15-year-old Martin O'Boy is employed, it is also the time of the year that envelops this literary novel like a character. Set in Ottawa in the 1950s, the story focuses on the warm, tender relationship between Martin and his guardian Grandpa Rip, an elderly man who is wise and kind but whose mind is beginning to unravel. Martin's present-day, first-person narration is interspersed with flashbacks written in the second-person that reveal the fate of his abusive, alcoholic father, depressed mother and mentally compromised twin brother. Like many multifaceted young-adult titles, this has some hiccups in the plotting but it never feels too busy. This is due in large part to Doyle's wonderful sense of humor and his spare, eloquent style. In the end, Martin defeats a scary workplace villain, wins a pretty girl and even aids a former Russian spy. (Fiction. YA)
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781554980338
  • Publisher: Groundwood Books Ltd
  • Publication date: 4/1/2007
  • Sold by: Barnes & Noble
  • Format: eBook
  • Pages: 160
  • Age range: 11 - 14 Years
  • File size: 2 MB

Meet the Author

Brian Doyle is a four-time winner of the Canadian Library Association’s Book of the Year for Children Award, a two-time winner of the Mr. Christie’s Book Award and was the first Canadian to be selected as a finalist for the prestigious Hans Christian Andersen Award. His American honors include being selected for the Horn Book’s Fanfare List, the ABA “Pick of the Lists” and the New York Public Library’s Best Books for the Teen Age. Most recently, he won the NSK Neustadt Prize for Children’s Literature for his body of work, and the Phoenix Honor Award. Brian lives near Ottawa.
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Sort by: Showing 1 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted April 3, 2010

    Brian Doyle creates a practical story of a boy's honesty and commitment to do what's right in the short novel, Pure Spring.

    Martin goes to "Grandpa" Rip, who is not his grandpa but his best friend's. Martin is fifteen and looking for a job in Ottawa durring the second world war. He tries a soda company and lies about his age saying he's sixteen to get the job as a soda delivery person. His favorite flavor is Honee Orange and his delivery partner, a mentaly disturbed nephue of Mr. Mirsky (the owner of Pure Spring), is Randy. Randy has a system he uses to steal from his clients. Randy makes Martin do the dirty work and in turn randy doesn't tell Mr. Mirsky how old Martin really is. Martin meets Gerty McDowell at their first victim's place of buissness. Gerty and Martin fall in love but all is not well as Igor, a Russain spy needs some documents that are in the hands of Randy. Martin escapes Randy's place with the papers and Gerty and when confessing to Mr. Mirsky he is promised a job at Pure Spring as soon as he is sixteen.
    The message of this bood is to tell the truth. I like how the story makes sense even though it is far fetched. i did not like how "What Happened" did not resolve in Martin's brother being introduced in a present tense. sombody should read this book if they are looking for a novel that is creative with some action and some romance with a great story line. the only reason that one would not read this is if they do not like realistic fiction. Enjoy the book!

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