Wild Orchid

Wild Orchid

by Beverley Brenna
     
 


Shortlisted for Canadian Library Association Young Adult Book of the Year Award

2007 Manitoba Young Readers' Choice Award nominee

2007 Saskatchewan Young
Readers' Choice Willow Awards nominee

Canadian Children's Book Centre Our Choice Starred Selection

White Pine nominee, 2007

McNally Robinson announced that Wild Orchid was one of

Overview



Shortlisted for Canadian Library Association Young Adult Book of the Year Award

2007 Manitoba Young Readers' Choice Award nominee

2007 Saskatchewan Young
Readers' Choice Willow Awards nominee

Canadian Children's Book Centre Our Choice Starred Selection

White Pine nominee, 2007

McNally Robinson announced that Wild Orchid was one of the top five best selling books in Saskatechewan in 2006.

Taylor Jane Simon is 18 years old and spending the summer with her mother in Prince Albert National Park. The holiday has been planned so Taylor's mother can spend time with her latest boyfriend, Danny, and work in the pizza restaurant near the park that Danny runs. Taylor would just as soon stay at home in Saskatoon, but because she suffers from an autistic condition called Asperger's Syndrome, she can't stay on her own. Taylor's mother encourages her daughter to explore the park's possibilities on her own. For Taylor, whose life experience has been seriously limited, this means facing the test of meeting new people who work in the park's nature center - and facing it alone. Summer also holds out the possibility of finding her own boyfriend, though Taylor isn't quite sure what that may involve. What she discovers will change her life forever.

Written as an epistolary novel, Wild Orchid is frank but optimistic, literal yet innocent. A courageous wit attends Taylor's gradual emergence as her own person, and the reader will find the exploration of Taylor's mind a revealing and heartwarming encounter.

Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher

"An honest, insightful, and compelling read."

Highly Recommended.

-- CM Magazine

"Brenna has done a credible job of capturing the voice of a young woman on the brink of maturity."

-- School Library Journal

"Taylor's voice draws the reader into an interesting, informative, and touching book that should be read by people of all ages, adults and teenagers."

-- Curled Up With a Good Kid's Book

"This novel, with its stunning cover, would make a good literature study at the middle school level."

-- Resource Links

Children's Literature
Taylor Jane Simon is forced to spend the summer in Waskesiu, a lakeside town in a national park, so that her mom can get cozy with her new boyfriend, Danny. Taylor does not like change, and she does not like Danny. His hair is greasy and he leaves germy fingerprints on her stuff. Determined not to go, Taylor locks herself in her bedroom. She has figured out that she would have to face at least twenty new things just getting to Danny's pizza shop. For someone with Asperger's Syndrome, a form of autism, that is asking too much. Taylor's mom eventually persuades Taylor to get in the car, but only after she signs a contract that they will return home to Saskatoon in August. In Waskesiu, Taylor spends most of her time at the park's nature center, where she is befriended by the staff. Taylor is even offered a job in the bookstore, her very first. Taylor finds joy in her accomplishment, but her mom's relationship with Danny sours and she announces they are returning home. Upset at being uprooted again in her mother's quest to find enduring love, Taylor runs away, spending the night in the forest where she gets lost. When she finds her own way back to the nature center the next day, she has it out with her self-focused mother, but the outcome is positive. Taylor's mom recognizes that at eighteen, Taylor can no longer be treated like a child. This is an engaging, empowering story. 2005, Red Deer Press, Ages 12 up.
—Sheri Bell-Rehwoldt
School Library Journal
Gr 9 Up-Written in a clear voice with three-dimensional characters, this novel is destined to be compared to Mark Haddon's The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time (Doubleday, 2003). Both are narrated by a young person who has Asperger's Syndrome and both deal with the unique ways in which people with this condition relate to the world. Taylor, 18, does not want to go with her mother to Prince Albert National Park for the summer. She is terrified at what an unstructured future holds and wants to find a boyfriend. This objective proves to be a bit difficult because Taylor cannot bring herself to look at people's faces and she discovers that she positively does not like kissing. As the teen negotiates her summer, finding a job, learning more about herself, and realizing that her mother also has flaws, she moves forward with her life, in spite of some minor setbacks. She discovers some things that she is good at and comes to understand that these qualities can be desirable, even coveted. In places, the story line simplifies Taylor's disabilities, possibly in a palpable attempt to add humor. Nonetheless, Brenna has done a credible job of capturing the voice of a young woman on the brink of maturity; in some ways Taylor is incredibly similar to most teenage girls and in other ways she is exceedingly different.-Wendy Smith-D'Arezzo, Loyola College, Baltimore, MD Copyright 2006 Reed Business Information.

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780889953307
Publisher:
Fitzhenry & Whiteside, Limited
Publication date:
09/30/2005
Pages:
176
Sales rank:
1,298,063
Product dimensions:
5.52(w) x 8.52(h) x 0.34(d)
Age Range:
14 - 17 Years

Meet the Author

Beverley Brenna is a Saskatchewan special education teacher who lives on an acreage near Saskatoon with her husband and three sons. Her previous titles include Daddy Longlegs at Birch Lane (Smithsonian, 1996), Spider Summer (Nelson, 1998) and The Keeper of the Trees (Ronsdale Press, 1999). Other YA short stories appear in anthologies such as Ronsdale's Winds Through Time and her short fiction for adults has been produced by CBC Radio.

Customer Reviews

Average Review:

Write a Review

and post it to your social network

     

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

See all customer reviews >