Monday, April 04, 2011

Inside Grandad (MG)

Inside Grandad. Peter Dickinson. 2004. Random House. 128 pages.

Gavin and Grandad were fishing for mackerel from the harbor wall when the seal popped its head out of the water. 

Gavin loved his Grandad very much. Grandad is the one who takes care of him; Gran works; his mom works; his dad is gone most of the time. The two are very close. They enjoy doing many things together. They like to fish. They like to build model boats. One day the two are busy at work on a model boat, a boat that Gavin has just decided to name Selkie, when his Grandad has a stroke. The doctors say that Grandad has had a stroke. No one knows how much of a recovery he'll make. It's too soon to say. He's still in a coma.

The novel focuses on how this effects Gavin. He's scared. He's worried. He's anxious. He wants to be at the hospital by his Grandad's side, holding his hand; and yet, he doesn't. He wants to be the one to reach him. He wants to be the one to talk to him, to read to him, to hold his hand, to be there for him. Yet, it seems too much to handle.
At some point, Gavin becomes convinced that selkies may hold the answer. His grandad always said they could help you when you were in need. And that's where this novel becomes a little weird, a little magical.

I didn't care for the selkie twist in this one. Not really. I mean I think some readers will enjoy that aspect of it. But I could have done without it.

So do I like this one? Yes, for the most part. I didn't love it. But I don't need to love everything I read.

© 2011 Becky Laney of Becky's Book Reviews

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I am interested in reviewing books and audio books. This blog focuses on books written for middle grade on up (essentially 10 to a 110). I review middle grade fiction and young adult fiction (aka tween and teen).

I also review adult books.

I read in a variety of genres including realistic fiction, historical fiction, mystery, romance, science fiction, fantasy, literary fiction, and chick lit. (I've read one western to date.)

I read a few poetry books, a few short story collections, a few graphic novels, a few nonfiction books.

I am especially fond of:

  • Regency romances (including Austen prequels/sequels)
  • Historical fiction set in the Tudor dynasty
  • Historical fiction and nonfiction set during World War II
  • Jewish fiction/nonfiction
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I am not a fan of:

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  • westerns (if it's a pioneer story with women and children, then maybe)
  • extremely violent books with blood, blood, and more blood

I am more interested in strong characters, well-written, fleshed-out, human characters. Plot is secondary to me in a way. I have to care about the characters in order to care about the plot. That being said, compelling storytelling is something that I love. I love to become absorbed in what I'm reading.

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