CM . . .
. Volume XII Number 16 . . . .April 14, 2006
Embarrassed, exasperated, angry … that’s really how Callie feels. But she cannot tell the reporter, because this is just another wacky scheme her eccentric mother has concocted to support yet another cause. This time, she’s trying to save an old maple tree from being chopped down. The tree divides her family’s property from neighbour Harold Wilson’s; the tree sits on Harold’s property but hangs over Callie’s yard, scratching her bedroom window when the wind blows. Years ago, when Harold and her Mom were children, their parents built a tree-house in the old tree, and all the neighbourhood kids spent hours hiding and sleeping in it. She can even reach the tree-house from her bedroom, but no one uses it anymore. So Harold wants to cut down the tree and build a garage to store and work on his motorcycles.
This humourous and inventive story is full of wit, revealing a 12-year-old girl’s anguish and frustration towards a divorced mother who thinks nothing of imposing her unorthodox views on everyone around her. Reporter Peter Dawl (“Your name is Peter Doll? Really?” “Not ‘doll,’ Dawl. D-A-W-L …” “Good thing you’re not a girl and your parents decided to call you Barbie,” I said. “My mom did want to name me Ken.”) becomes the catalyst that enable Callie to open up and reveal how she really feels about her mother’s frequently embarrassing behaviour. He also provides much of the humour and warmth in the story.
This brief story is one of many in the “Orca Currents” series for reluctant readers. Written by award-winning Ann Walsh, it will appeal to young teens who will cheer as Callie takes matters into her own hands so that her life can return to normal – well, as normal as life can be with a mother like that.
Carole Marion, a Public Service Librarian with Calgary Public Library’s Shawnessy Branch, has been working with youth and their caregivers for over sixteen years.
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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.