CM . . .
. Volume XV Number 3. . . .September 26, 2008
It's not looking to be a good summer. Pete's parents are on the brink of divorce, he's been dumped off at his grandmother's old farm, and he's miles away from his friends in Victoria. There is no stereo, no TV, and no computer on the farm, but this is no surprise. Everything seems to be falling apart and in need of repair. Pete is anticipating a summer full of chores and boredom, but what he gets instead is a summer full of accomplishments and adventure! This summer, a lake monster, a dead body, ghostly apparitions, and violent storms will test Pete's bravery and resourcefulness while his evolving relationship with his family members and new country friends will test Pete's self-perceptions and values.
Pete doesn't make the best of decisions during his first few days on the farm. On his first day in the country, Pete doesn't even think twice about going out on the lake without a life jacket or hat. That turns out to be a decision Pete regrets, especially after he loses the boat oar! He's going to have to dive into the water to retrieve it if he wants to get back to shore. Not only is the water bitterly cold, but he might encounter whatever was making those shadows and ripples under the boat. Now Pete can add humiliation to his mix of negative emotions. On top of the anger he's feeling about his parents' divorce, he's embarrassed that his grandmother saw the spectacle he made of himself on the water! When back at the farmhouse, Pete continues to act in ways he will regret. He takes all his frustrations out on his grandmother. He's rude and shuns all her suggestions. But with time- and some new distractions- Pete's judgments and actions become more positive. He sees a different side of his grandmother. Life with her is going to be VERY different than life with his parents. She gives him donuts for breakfast, offers to teach him to drive, and allows him to stay home alone. Pete is experiencing freedom and trust for what feels like the first time! In turn, Pete downloads computer games for his grandmother, helps out with farm chores, and goes with her to explore caves along the beach.
Tanya Boudreau is a librarian at the Cold Lake Public Library in Cold Lake, AB.
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Copyright © the Manitoba Library Association. Reproduction for personal use is permitted only if this copyright notice is maintained. Any other reproduction is prohibited without permission.