Katherine L. Holmes lives in Duluth, Minnesota, where she maintains an internet used bookstore and enjoys the northern woods. In 2014, The Wide Awake Loons was a Finalist in the Next Generation Indie Book Awards. Her fantasy, The House in Windward Leaves, was a Finalist in both the 2013 National Indie Excellence and the 2013 Next Generation Indie Book Awards. Her website is https://sites.google.com/site/katherinelholmesauthorprofile/
The Wide Awake Loonsby Katherine L. Holmes
Ten-year-old Ginny and her mother are opening the cabin. On an otherwise quiet day, Ginny hears a male loon, Yudel, sparring with a younger bird over territory. Canoeing with her friend, Wes, Ginny discovers a loon nest on an island. They quickly find themselves protecting the defenseless eggs against predators. During the summer, the loons raise three loonlings. Now faced with many dangers, Yudel and his mate, Owala, will put their courage to the test. Follow the journey of Ginny and the loons as their stories unite . . .
- Silver Knight Publishing, LLC
- Publication date:
- Product dimensions:
- 5.00(w) x 8.00(h) x 0.43(d)
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Reviewed by Bobbie Grob for Readers' Favorite Wide Awake Loons by Katherine L. Holmes is not quite a coming-of-age story, and not quite an adventure. It is the tale of one summer at the lake and the everyday life of vacation. The uniqueness of this story is that it tells the tale through two different sets of eyes. One set belongs to the humans who summer on the island, and the other set belongs to a pair of loons who soon become a family of five. As Ginny and Nettie are impatient with the restrictions placed on them by their families, so too are the loonlings impatient with their slowly improving abilities to fish and then to fly. The stories of the loons and the humans dance around each other, intertwining so many times that it is clear that this particular summer will not be forgotten. When I began reading Wide Awake Loons, I immediately recalled my own childhood in northern Minnesota. The loons have a call like no other, and Ms. Holmes did a wonderful job of capturing their ethereal beauty and charm. The only problem I had with the story was that it just wasn’t quite enough. No one changed enough to call this a coming-of-age tale, and the story really did lack excitement. Ms. Holmes writes beautifully; her prose was both stunning and clever, and she shared the loons’ story very convincingly. However, I feel that this book will not hold the attention of its intended audience as well as it could. If Ms. Holmes wants to market this story to older readers, then I think it would be much more appreciated. It truly is a beautifully written book.
I had a very hard time rating this one. Parts of it are very good, parts need work, but the hard part in rating was differentiating between the two stories. Half the story is told from the loons' perspective, half is from the kids. I thought that I wouldn't like the loons' story as much, because I'm not big on making animals sound like humans, but I ended up more intrigued with the loons' story than the kids, up until the end. So I had to rate the two stories almost differently and then average the ratings out for my final review. The story is set on a lake in the summer, and the author captured the feel of the place beautifully. Her descriptions of the lake and the people and the animals were the best parts of this story. By the end of it, I really wanted to go stay in a log cabin on a lake somewhere! This alone makes the story worth reading. The story following the loons and other island animals is very well done, right up until the end. At the end, the male loon gets caught by a fishing lure and the other animals figure out how to get him unstuck. I thought this was a little too unrealistic, and would much rather have seen the kids rescue the loon, not another animal. The book lost a little credibility there. The ending did feel a little rushed, and I got a bit confused with some of the human characters, especially at the beginning. But I decided to give this a 4 star simply because I enjoyed the story and I thought some of the descriptions were really well done. I think this story would be fun for kids and nostalgic for adults to read.