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Defiance Paperback – Bargain Price, May 26, 2009
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Gr. 4-7. Toby's cancer has recurred, but he defiantly determines not to share this information with his parents. The prospect of hospitalization and additional painful treatments are more than the 11-year-old can bear. His decision is reinforced after he meets and befriends a fiercely independent, elderly neighbor, Pearl, once a famous poet who hasn't published for years. Although she is in her 90s and nearly blind, Pearl stubbornly refuses to leave her tumbledown home to live with her daughters. Drawn together by their mutual affection for Pearl's beloved cow, Blossom, these two characters gradually develop a mutually supportive and loving friendship, which, with the death of Blossom as a catalyst, helps them reclaim their lives and a promising future. Occasionally predictable in both plot and characterization, the story is nonetheless emotionally satisfying, and Hobbs, a gifted writer, does a quietly effective job of dramatizing the life-affirming power of both poetry and a cross-generational friendship. Michael Cart
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved --This text refers to the Library Binding edition.
“A poetic tale of empowerment with gentle touches of humor.”—School Library Journal
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However, my kids thought the subject was a bit heavy. My kids thought the book read smoothly and was not difficult to get through.
It made interesting reading when similar stories have recently appeared in the media.
In the book DEFIANCE a boy about 11 years old finds another lump on his side, He gets real scared, trust me if I had cancer and I found a lump on my side I would be worried too.
The one big mistake someone with cancer can do is not tell anyone and let it get worse. I know how hard it must be for the parents because they worry all the time. My grandma has lung cancer, and she dosn't even smoke. It's real hard to just leave them alone but you have to learn to and that is what this whole book is all about really, he wants his mom to leave him alone about his problem but is comes back and he just doesn't want to go through it agian. I wouldn't want to eather.
Toby meets someone who helps him make the right choices in the end so he soesn't make dumb ones, like not getting the treatment he needs for his cancer. he just wishes he could be a normal kid and that is what put this book together, the choices he made, and how he made them.
Defiance is a rich story deep with meaning for people who have experienced cancer or other losses in life. Early in the book, Toby reads the sign posted on Pearl's house, "Whoever steals my freedom takes my life," which is one theme of the book. Toby feels like his parents are stealing his freedom. Pearl feels like her daughters are trying to steal her freedom. Pearl and Toby just want to be free to make the decisions they want to make. Pearl and Toby discover they are exactly what each other needs to help them make important decisions.