How do you rescue a wild coyote trapped in an elevator in a downtown Seattle office building? How do you save an injured baby seal at the bottom of a cliff with the tide coming in? Fourteen-year-old Shannon Young, visiting from New Jersey, is about to find out.
Shannon's parents, both doctors, are working in refugee camps overseas while she and her little brother, Cody, are spending the summer in Seattle with their mysterious uncle Neal. To their surprise, Uncle Neal drives an ambulance for Jackie's Wild Seattle, an animal rescue center. Shannon and Cody join their uncle and his partner, a border collie, for nine weeks of breathless, sometimes reckless, often hilarious adventure chasing after whatever wild critters need help. When Uncle Neal is injured by a red-tailed hawk, Shannnon summons her courage and becomes the one who rescues the animals.
Jackie, who runs the center, believes in the "circle of healing," and in Shannon's circle everyone is in need of healing. Traumatized by the events of September 11, Cody is sure disaster is about to strike. Shannon wants to believe in Tyler, a teenage working off his court-appointed time at the wildlife center, but Uncle Neal thinks he's a ticking time bomb. Meanwhile, Neal is keeping secrets of his own.
Beneath the excitement, there's always an undertow of danger. Everything is uncertain, and home is so very far away.
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Will Hobbs is the award-winning author of nineteen novels, including Far North, Crossing the Wire, and Take Me to the River.
Never Say Die began with the author's eleven-day raft trip in 2003 down the Firth River on the north slope of Canada's Yukon Territory. Ever since, Will has been closely following what scientists and Native hunters are reporting about climate change in the Arctic. When the first grolar bear turned up in the Canadian Arctic, he began to imagine one in a story set on the Firth River.
A graduate of Stanford University, Will lives with his wife, Jean, in Durango, Colorado.From School Library Journal:
Grade 5-8-This exciting, poignant, and beautifully developed story covers a crucial few weeks for several people whose lives intertwine to change and benefit all. Shannon Young, 14, and her younger brother, Cody, traumatized by witnessing the events of 9/11, arrive in Seattle to spend the summer with their uncle while their physician parents travel to Pakistan with Doctors Without Borders. Uncle Neal is living and volunteering at Jackie's Wild Seattle, a wildlife rescue and rehab center where Tyler, an abused teen, is "doing time" for torturing a dog. Neal has not told the children that he has cancer, but Shannon overhears a conversation and finds out. When he injures his hand and is unable to perform rescues, Shannon and Cody-under his tutelage-take over with thrilling results. Tyler slowly breaks out of his shell, Cody begins to overcome his fixation with disasters, and Neal finds meaning and hope in his life through a badly injured bald eagle and a rescue dog. Seen through Shannon's increasingly maturing and observant eyes, the fabric of these characters, human and animal, is woven tightly with crisp, realistic dialogue in a remarkable story of adventure and redemption. Based on a real wildlife center and the experiences of some of its denizens, this story will reach deep into the hearts of young readers.
Mary R. Hofmann, Rivera Middle School, Merced, CA
Copyright 2003 Reed Business Information, Inc.
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Book Description HarperCollins, 2003. Library Binding. Book Condition: New. 1. Bookseller Inventory # DADAX0060516313