Rebel's Tag

Overview

Sam's grandfather vanished from his life the day Sam's father was buried. Now, ten years later, Grandpa Max wants to make amends. He sends letters that lead Sam on a scavenger hunt. Sam follows his grandfather's bizarre instructions though he's still not ready to forgive. To alleviate his anger at his grandfather, Sam turns to his favorite stress release: climbing onto roofs and leaving his tag, a spray painted symbol for Aquarius. When he gets caught by an elderly couple, Sam learns a valuable lesson about ...
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Rebel's Tag

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Overview

Sam's grandfather vanished from his life the day Sam's father was buried. Now, ten years later, Grandpa Max wants to make amends. He sends letters that lead Sam on a scavenger hunt. Sam follows his grandfather's bizarre instructions though he's still not ready to forgive. To alleviate his anger at his grandfather, Sam turns to his favorite stress release: climbing onto roofs and leaving his tag, a spray painted symbol for Aquarius. When he gets caught by an elderly couple, Sam learns a valuable lesson about forgiveness. He's ready to forgive his grandfather, but is he too late?
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Editorial Reviews

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"This book has a story that keeps the reader interested, with short chapters and easy-to-read vocabulary."
Quill & Quire
"It's no small feat to engage and hold the interest of reluctant readers. With Rebel's Tag, Denman does the job."
CM Magazine
"A wonderful novel that will draw reluctant readers in from the get-go and hold them captive until the bittersweet end. Denman's writing is clean and the voice brilliant. Highly Recommended."
The Horn Book Guide
"Written for reluctant readers, this text tackles such heavy topics as forgiveness and death while using accessible, age-appropriate vocabulary."
Canadian Book Review Annual
*no details*
VOYA
When fourteen-year-old Sam hears from the grandfather who abandoned the family after Sam's father died, Sam wants nothing to do with him. All he cares about is illicitly climbing roofs at night; he has always felt free on rooftops. After meeting some of his grandfather's friends, though, and then being forgiven by an elderly couple whose roof he tagged, Sam begins to change. He finally starts to understand about forgiveness, freedom, growing up, and waiting too long to make amends. This deftly woven story rises, possibly problematically, above standard high interest/low reading level titles. Tricky in that its connective tissue is formed of two literary leitmotifs: Sam identifying with the trickster god of rebels, Uranus, and discovering his grandfather's interest in ancient Sumerian philosophy. This device might put off struggling readers. The book addresses weighty concepts succinctly, comprehensibly, and without pretense, and those looking for a hi-lo story with more depth will find it here. Reviewer: Rebecca C. Moore
Children's Literature - Jessica Ortega
Samuel Connor, whose father died when he was a young child, lives with his mother. Unfortunately, after his father's death, Samuel's paternal grandfather walked out of their lives. During the next ten years, Samuel has no contact with his long lost grandfather, but suddenly his grandfather begins to communicate with him through letters that he sends with significant people in Samuel's grandfather's life. Still angry about his grandfather's abandonment of his family, Samuel is still not ready to forgive him. To relieve his stress, he climbs on top of roofs and leaves "his tag" which he writes on the rooftops. One night, an elderly couple catches Samuel, after which he begins to learn all about the importance of forgiveness. From this encounter, he realizes that he may be ready to forgive his grandfather. The only question though—is it too late? This story teaches young readers that it is okay to forgive and that forgiving is a part of life. Samuel is portrayed as one who deals with his anger in unhealthy ways. However, once he forgives his grandfather, he can let go of all of his anger toward him. Reviewer: Jessica Ortega
School Library Journal

Gr 6-8 Sam Connor, 14, can barely remember his grandfather. When his father died 10 years earlier, the once-loving and involved man simply walked away from the grave site, severing contact with Sam and his mother. Now, however, the teen has received a letter from him, seeking reconciliation and sending him on a somewhat mystical scavenger hunt for symbolic items-a cradle, an antique watch-that will rebuild their connection. Sam deals with this strange new development and his ambivalent feelings about forgiving his grandfather in the rather idiosyncratic way he's come to cope with stress: sitting on the roofs of neighborhood buildings with his friend Indira and leaving behind his "tag," a small spray-painted symbol of the planet Uranus. Add Sumerian proverbs to the totemic heirlooms and the astrological import of the tag and Denman's symbolism tends toward the esoteric and heavy-handed. Much of the action seems as if it would strain both the credulity and patience of struggling and reluctant middle school readers toward whom the book is aimed. Character development is also a weak point; Sam's grandfather remains a dim and distant figure throughout, and even the teen himself is never fully fleshed out.-Meredith Robbins, Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis High School, New York City

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781551437408
  • Publisher: Orca Book Publishers
  • Publication date: 9/1/2007
  • Series: Orca Currents Series
  • Pages: 128
  • Sales rank: 806,831
  • Age range: 10 - 14 Years
  • Lexile: HL550L (what's this?)
  • Product dimensions: 4.25 (w) x 7.00 (h) x 0.20 (d)

Meet the Author

K.L. Denman was born in Calgary, Alberta, but moved to Delta, British Columbia when she was 11. She continued to live near Vancouver for many years while finishing school, attending college, and eventually getting married and starting a family. She always loved writing and when her teen children and their friends provided inspiration and re-kindled memories of this challenging passage, writing for teens became an irresistible venture. More information about Kim is available on her website at www.kldenman.com.

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Read an Excerpt

Oh, man. Someone must have seen Indi and me doing our thing. They recognized me and reported it to the cops. This envelope is from the cops. They write letters? Wouldn't they just come and hassle me?

I keep cool, reach inside, draw out a sheet of paper. It doesn't have any official emblems. It just looks like a letter, starting with "Dear Samuel." Weird. No one writes me letters. I shoot another glance at Mom but she hasn't budged. She's just standing there looking like she's going to burst.

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