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About the Author-
- Lesley Choyce, who has been teaching English and creative writing for over thirty years, is the author of more than ninety books of literary fiction, short stories, poetry, creative nonfiction and young adult novels. He has won the Dartmouth Book Award, the Atlantic Poetry Prize and the Ann Connor Brimer Award. He has also been short-listed for the Stephen Leacock Medal for Humor, the White Pine Award, the Hackmatack Children's Choice Book Award, the Aurora Award from the Canadian Science Fiction and Fantasy Association and, most recently, the Governor General's Literary Award. He lives in Lawrencetown Beach, Nova Scotia.
July 1, 2017
Gr 9 Up-Trevor is 16 and facing death from Huntington's disease. Based on descriptions of his behavior and habits, Trevor likely has anxiety and obsessive-compulsive disorder. As he stands ready to jump off a cliff, he meets a very old man. Trevor and Plank, a former teacher, forge an unlikely friendship. Plank convinces Trevor to update his simplistic bucket list and follow Plank's Law, or the idea of living life to the fullest. Trevor's awareness of his mortality leads to philosophical discussions on religions; he seeks to be both a good Christian and a Buddhist. A friend's sudden death, which may be a suicide, changes Trevor's perspective further. In treatment, the protagonist meets Sara, a cancer patient, which leads him to cross one item off the list: get a girlfriend. The growth of Trevor and Sara's relationship makes up the bulk of the story; it is sweet but not overly sappy. Familial history and relationships also play a factor in Trevor's shifting worldview. With a strong male protagonist, plain and sometimes blunt language, and an opening in the style of The Catcher in the Rye, this short novel may hook reluctant readers. VERDICT An additional purchase.-Jillian Woychowski, West Haven High School, CT
Copyright 2017 School Library Journal, LLC Used with permission.
July 15, 2017
Terminally ill with Huntington's at 16, Trevor has nothing to lose and dares to live life at the brink.Plank is 93 when he pulls young Trevor Marshall from a morbid reverie at the edge of a cliff and thus begins a mentorship to "stop trying to make sense of things and bloody well live your life." With only a year to live, Trevor abandons religion for Plank's philosophy and finds the courage to track down a stunningly beautiful cancer patient with an unforgettable smile. Sara turns out to be a wig-tossing survivor who is brazen enough to embrace Plank's law and convinces Trevor to reach out to his childhood mate, "crazy Brit" Antonio Watson, whose last known antics involved hacking computers and becoming a millionaire in New Zealand. Antonio arrives bringing fast cars, reckless energy, and a tortured spirit. Plank teaches Trevor that "the best parts of your life are the ones you share with someone else," but with each attachment comes ever greater risk of loss. Plank's age, Sara's chemo, and Antonio's daredevil lifestyle all dance at the edge of mortality. With Trevor's story, Choyce reminds readers that death is its own storyteller and there are always surprises along the way. The absence of racial and ethnic markers implies a white default. The backdrop of disease can be elementary fodder for drama, but the story offers fine comedic vignettes and playful dialogue, raising this well above standard illness fare. (Fiction. 14-18)
COPYRIGHT(2017) Kirkus Reviews, ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.
PublisherOrca Book Publishers
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