In the winter, life in McKinley, Minnesota, revolves around the rinks, where kids play hockey and grown-ups skate to scratchy phonograph records. Then, the year Marsh and his best friend, Willy, are twelve, Carl appears at the rink, wearing a battered, old leather flight jacket and doing a strange dance that is both beautiful and disturbing to watch. It is Marsh and Willy who discover the terrible secret behind Carl's dance, a secret that threatens to destroy him. But a small miracle occurs, and Carl's dance becomes a fragile and tentative expression of hope and the healing power of love.
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by Gary Paulsen
"McKinley, Minnesota, is a small town where everyone looks out for each other. In the winter, life happens at the rinks: Kids play hockey, grown-ups skate to scratchy records, and miracles happen. In the voice of 12-year-old Morris, narrator Nick Podehl tells of the winter that Carl appeared in a tattered flight jacket and took over the maintenance and supervision of the rinks. Podehl adds music to Paulsen's poetic language, especially as he describes the mysterious, disturbing yet somehow enchanting dance that Carl does. Paulsen's lyrical story of courage, compassion, and community is given new life with Podehl's sensitive interpretation. N.E.M. (c) AudioFile 2012, Portland, Maine"
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