This poignant novel explores how a unilateral decision can change a life. Two things are hard for Joel Gustafson to cope with: not knowing why, and not being able to do anything about it. Joel' s father was once a sailor who lived by the sea. Joel' s mother once lived with them. Joel' s father abandoned the sea. Joel' s mother abandoned Joel and his father. While looking out his window one night, Joel sees a lonely dog on the street. Joel spots the animal again and begins sneaking out night after night, trying to find it. During these nocturnal outings, Joel discovers aspects of life he has never imagined. And then one night he discovers that his father' s bed, too, is empty. As Joel investigates his father' s mysterious absences and continues to search for the dog, he discovers his own inner strength and learns about adult disappointments and needs.
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by Henning Mankell
by Walter Dean Myers
by Virginia Hamilton
"Henning Mankell, prize-winning author of the Inspector Wallander series, has a winner with his first novel for young adults. Francis Greenslade narrates the story of 11-year-old Joel and his father, who live in the cold, desolate forests of northern Sweden. In spite of Samuel's abandonment of the sea to make a life as a tree cutter, Joel's mother deserted the family. Greenslade's Australian accent adds to the surreal atmosphere, making Sweden's dark and desolate winter a character. You feel the loss, loneliness, and confusion that send Joel out searching for a dog he has spotted from his window. And you'll feel the coldness of the Swedish winter that has penetrated Joel's heart begin to thaw as spring slowly warms his heart and his life. N.E.M. (c) AudioFile 2008, Portland, Maine"
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