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Between Shadows Paperback – April 1, 2015
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From School Library Journal
Gr 4–6—Soon after the death of his mother and his beloved grandfather, 12-year-old Ari and his father return to his grandfather's rainbow-painted cabin in the woods near Vancouver. Ari, his father, and his Aunt Laurel are surprised to learn that Ari's grandfather has left him the cabin and surrounding land. During the course of the summer, as Ari discovers the joys and unexpected challenges of living in the woods, his father and aunt make plans to sell the cabin to a shady real estate developer. The adults, eager to make money and pursue their own dreams, fail to understand the treasure their father preserved for his family. The boy, however, hopes to connect with his grandfather's life and enjoys the freedom he experiences in a new environment. He becomes friends with Tam, a girl who lives nearby, and her friend, Justin. With Tam and Justin as his guides, Ari explores the beaches and forest trails near the cabin. As the story progresses, it becomes clear that Ari's grandfather hoped his family would preserve his cabin and make it their home. There is an especially vivid scene in which Ari encounters a bear in the woods and a memorable image of a room full of handmade fairies. Unfortunately, the characters in Waldron's short novel are one-dimensional and the plot is predictable from the opening pages. VERDICT This is an additional purchase that will be best appreciated by readers who enjoy a quiet story.—Shelley Sommer, Inly School, Scituate, MA
A story about figuring out where you belong.
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Top customer reviews
Author Kathleen Cook Waldron brings to the story her own experience living in the bush. The details of the cabin and surrounding land and community are told in vivid detail so that even the most urban readers can perfectly picture the serene woods, playful stream and peaceful lake.
Through Waldron’s clean storytelling, we follow a grieving family as they wrestle with loss. I loved how each member of Ari’s family reconnected with his grandfather through the experience of staying at the cabin. Though he’s no longer present, his love for his family is so clear in the things he left behind. Each character discovers and responds to these unwritten love letters from their father or grandfather. In these moments, Waldron’s writing is moving, subtle and clever.
This is a great story about the opportunity grieving families have to rediscover their lost loved one and renew relationships with one another. The rustic setting gently reminds us to consider what’s really important.