Overview

Winner of the 2003 Ann Connor Brimer Award, short-listed for the 2004 White Pine Award


Martin Emerson's family, friends, and even his therapist have trouble figuring him out. He never showed much of a ...

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Shoulder the Sky

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Overview

Winner of the 2003 Ann Connor Brimer Award, short-listed for the 2004 White Pine Award


Martin Emerson's family, friends, and even his therapist have trouble figuring him out. He never showed much of a reaction to the death of his mother, and his behaviour of late has been getting more and more bizarre.


And yet, his website – Emerso.com – has made him something of a cult figure to followers who believe that, if not having all the right answers, "Emerso" at least has all the right questions.


Shoulder the Sky is a rarity among young adult novels – it challenges the reader with philosophical thought and complex observations.

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Editorial Reviews

VOYA
Struggling with the recent death of his mother, his emotionally absent father, and a sister who finds peace in body piercings, Martin is trying to rebuild himself. Encouraged by his therapist to find an outlet for his grief, Martin tries smoking, stealing, and even random acts of helpfulness, only to be frustrated. He seems most at home building his Web site full of quotations from Kant and Emerson, art from his mother, and scattered thoughts of his own. Emerso, Martin's Web site, features menu links to opinions, the universe, and one promising the meaning of life, which is perpetually under construction. Martin lives in a world where his math teacher has lived another life as a lead guitarist for a metal band and as a wrestling star, and where a janitor offers students a quiet refuge in the boiler room along with half a tofu sandwich. His support system includes a friend more comfortable with computers than with people, a love interest who pines for a dead classmate, and a therapist who encourages him to get angry—really angry. Despite the odd cast of characters, this story, instead of seeming absurd, seems comfortably quirky. Memories of his mother link seamlessly with Martin's musings about reincarnation and Jello-colored hairstyles. Martin comes off as smart, intuitive, and someone struggling with common human issues. Instead of becoming another story of a teen who has lost a parent, it becomes a tale of someone discovering himself. Fast-paced and intelligent, this story entertains as well as educates. VOYA Codes 3Q 4P M J (Readable without serious defects; Broad general YA appeal; Middle School, defined as grades 6 to 8; Junior High, defined as grades 7 to 9). 2002, BoardwalkBooks/Dundurn, 227p., Trade pb. Ages 11 to 15.
—Heather Hepler
From the Publisher
"This story is told with grace, integrity and the brash, engaging honesty Choyce fans will recognize and have grown to appreciate from his earlier works."

"Choyce, with over 50 works of fiction to his credit, expertly infuses his characters with an engaging combination of muscles and poetry."

The Telegram - Karen Shewbridge
"This story is told with grace, integrity and the brash, engaging honesty Choyce fans will recognize and have grown to appreciate from his earlier works."
Teresa Toten
"Choyce, with over 50 works of fiction to his credit, expertly infuses his characters with an engaging combination of muscles and poetry."
Vancouver Sun
Choyce writes well enough to impress even a sophisticated, well read teen.
Eastword (Writer's Federation of Nova Scotia Newsletter)
This book is written in an engaging and enthralling style with fully developed, dynamic characters and a plot that will keep the reader turning the pages far into the night.
Chronicle Herald
Lesley Choyce's latest young adult novel has a complex texture and a strong and distinctive voice in its main character.
The Guardian (Charlottetown
the characters are interesting and true to life.
Quill and Quire
"Choyce expertly infuses his characters with an engaging combination of muscle and poetry."
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781554886067
  • Publisher: Dundurn Press
  • Publication date: 10/1/2002
  • Sold by: Barnes & Noble
  • Format: eBook
  • Pages: 220
  • Age range: 12 - 15 Years
  • File size: 3 MB

Meet the Author

Lesley Choyce is one of Canada's most prolific authors. A resident of East Lawrencetown, Nova Scotia, he has published more than fifty works of fiction, non-fiction, and poetry. Shoulder the Sky is his fifteenth young adult novel. He is also the author of the adult novel Sea of Tranquility, forthcoming from Dundurn Press in spring, 2003.


Lesley Choyce is one of Canada's most prolific authors. A resident of East Lawrencetown, Nova Scotia, he has published more than 50 works of fiction, non-fiction, and poetry. His previous young adult fiction includes Shoulder the Sky, which was shortlisted for 2004 White Pine Award. Smoke and Mirrors was shortlisted for the Canadian Library Association 2005 Young Adult Canadian Book Award.

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