Monday, February 8, 2016

Marvelous Middle Grade Monday - JACOB'S LANDING

At first, I wasn’t sure I would relate to the characters in this story. But as I kept reading, I got more intrigued and wondered what might happen to Jacob’s eccentric grandparents. This is another book from the short list for the 2016 Silver Birch Fiction Awards from the Ontario Library Association.

Description from Amazon.com:

Coping with the recent death of his father, twelve-year-old Jacob Mosher is sent to spend the summer with his aging, estranged (and strange!) grandparents in a rural seaside town. Reluctantly, he trades the security of his foster mum and a big city for a blind grandfather, Frank, who dresses like a sea captain and conducts flag-raising ceremonies, and a quirky grandmother, Pearl, who sometimes forgets her dentures.

Jacob has two short months to figure out how to deal with his ailing grandfather, the surging river tides and the family secret that’s haunting his newfound grandparents.

Jacob’s Landing was written by Daphne Greer and published by Nimbus Publishing in 2015.

My Take:

I haven’t read many middle grade novels where grandparents have such a large role in the story. At first, like Jacob, I wasn’t sure I’d like reading about them because they seemed so quirky and eccentric. But as the story went on and the conflict increased, especially Jacob’s wonderings about how they might cope after he left, I wanted to find out what happened. I really liked Jacob’s friend Ruby, who seemed bold and adventurous, though sometimes she acted a little too quickly before she thought about the possible consequences.

As a writer, I enjoyed the way the author created such distinct characters through the use of details and different personality traits. They really came alive for me through their actions and dialogue.

Opening Line:

“I, Jacob Mosher, am sentenced to two months and a day with Captain Crazy and his sidekick, Pearl.”

Quotes:

“I’m still not used to the fact that Frank can’t remember some things—obvious things, like me for example—but then other things, like how fast a ship goes, he remembers right down to the second.”

“My stomach still feels gross at the thought of the doctor yanking the needle through Frank’s flesh yesterday, like he was putting bait on a fish hook.”

“Bad stuff happens, but you can’t let it keep you frozen. You’ve got to do something with it or let go.”

Other Info:

Daphne Greer lives in Newport Landing, Nova Scotia.

Here’s what Daphne says about writing on her website: “The hardest is making it believable and meaningful for them. The best is when that happens.”

6 comments:

  1. Jacob's grandfather sounds like such an interesting character. Glad you liked this!

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  2. Thank you for sharing this one. I have to say that I really like having a grandparent play such a major role in this kid's grief recovery and growth.

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  3. I love the sound of this one. The focus on the grandparents is very intriguing. Thanks for featuring. I've added it to my list to read.

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  4. There are a # of middle grade books where grandparents play major roles. LOVE, AUBREY by Suzanne LaFleur, and A MILLION WAYS HOME by Dianna Dorisi Winget are two that readily come to mind. I will look out for JACOB'S LANDING.

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  5. This one sounds really good. I like the sound of quirky grandparents. I am one, so that would be fun to red. Thanks for telling me about it.

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  6. These grandparents intrigue me. I'm especially interested in why he'd be sent to stay with them if they have these challenges, although I'm sure it makes for a unique story. Thanks for sharing!

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