A boy discovers newfound courage and an old family secret during an eventful summer stay with his beloved grandmother in Newbery Medalist MacLachlan’s brief but emotionally intense novel. Robbie can’t wait to visit his grandmother Maddy, who will care for him and his dog, a “brown hound mix” named Ellie, when Robbie’s parents go on tour with their classical music quartet. Unlike his distant and distracted mother and father, Maddy likes to have adventures, tells awesome stories, and even communes with wild animals near her home. Robbie doesn’t care that Maddy’s stories make people nervous, even if he’s not sure they’re true. When an overnight campout with Maddy takes a scary turn, Robbie must call on Ellie and Maddy’s friend Henry to help them, and the ordeal spurs some important revelations. MacLachlan demonstrates her mastery of elegantly unfolding a tale and gently plucking at readers’ heartstrings without taking a maudlin tone. The story’s satisfying but not overly neat ending suggests a hopeful path forward for these memorable characters. Ages 6–10. Agent: Rubin Pfeffer, East West Literary Agency. (July)
Reviewed on: 06/03/2013 Release date: 06/01/2013 Genre: Children's
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