cover image Boat Song

Boat Song

Frances Ward Weller. MacMillan Publishing Company, $13.95 (168pp) ISBN 978-0-02-792611-8

This year, summer on Cape Cod at Grandma's cottage is fraught with problems for Jonno, 11. Silence is his only defense against an analytical, articulate father who questions and advises him endlessly. And his friend Peter is suddenly interested in Jonno's sister Kate. Then Jonno meets an old bagpiper, a sturdy Scot who was at the D-day invasion. Rob regales Jonno with stories of Highland fighting and of the pipers who performed while soldiers marched into battle. They become friends, and one day, when Jonno is lost in a boat offshore, the sound of Rob's pipes help him to find the beach through the fog. Through Rob, Jonno learns how to let go of his self-consciousness and be himself; on his own he discovers that his father's ways are loving ones. The unusual friendship is both tender and realistic; the characterizations are all well drawn. A graceful and enriching first book. Ages 8-12. (April)