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Fiction Ages 9-12
Pages: 144
Themes: risk-taking, wildlife, trust, family
Publisher: Orca Book Publishers
Pub Date: 01/10/2010
Lexile Level: 510L
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Spending Christmas holidays in the wilderness with his ex-con aunt Mag is not Evan's idea of a good time. What's worse is that everyone he meets-even his new friend Cedar-is making a big deal about a loon that is hanging around on the lake. Why should Evan care about a dumb bird? When he discovers that the loon will die without help, he realizes he does care, but rescuing the wild bird turns out to be whole lot harder, and more dangerous, than he expected.

Canadian Literature - April 1, 2012
"Readers may find themselves with their hearts in their throats as time begins to run out for the loon...The cast of eccentric but lovable characters...builds the suspense...This excellent book combines great characters with a well-written, suspenseful plot that will keep readers turning pages as fast as they can read them."
BookLinx - January 30, 2012
"Like most Orca Young Readers books, this is a novel with interesting characters and a fast moving plot that should catch the interest of its readers...Characters grow as the plot unfolds [and] they learn to work together."
Canadian Children's Book News - August 1, 2011
"Refreshingly modern. Upjohn has created a multi-dimensional 11-year old character...[and] because he is so easy to relate to, the reader absorbs knowledge right along with Evan."
Library Media Connection - January 1, 2011
"Evan learns important lessons about nature, environmentally sustainable living, and the danger of making rash judgments about people."
Resource Links - October 1, 2010
"This exciting novel keeps the reader questioning to the finish. Information abounds about the loons, wolves, and turtles all found in the lake regions in Ontario and other parts of Canada. Though the story moves at a fast pace, the characters are sensitively developed…This novel would complement Canadian studies and should promote interesting discussion on wildlife survival."
CM Magazine - September 17, 2010
"The short chapters and accessible vocabulary will make this novel a good choice for readers who have made the transition to chapter books. The writer explores themes of: relationships, environmental responsibility, loon and wolf biology, animal rights, biodiversity, renewable energy sources, sustainability and the ecology of Canada's North. Recommended."
Kirkus Reviews - September 15, 2010
"The Canadian wilderness is portrayed here as an antidote to the city life Evan leaves behind; it is the kind of place where each person does his or her share of the work and relishes the simple joys of companionship and the beauty of the natural world. A beginning chapter book with a good story and a clear environmental agenda."

Awards

Resource Links "The Year's Best"  | 2010 | Commended
IODE Jean Throop Book Award - Toronto Chapter  | 2010 | Winner
Silver Birch Express nominee  | 2012 | Short-listed
CCBC Best Books starred selection  | 2012 | Commended

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