When Ritchie’s mother becomes ill and must live in a hospital, he is left alone to put his life back together.It seems an impossible task until he begins to receive mysterious letters from the troll under the bridge. . . . Award-winning author Ellen Kindt McKenzie seamlessly mixes fantasy and reality in this story of how one young boy learns to overcome his fears with the help of a mysterious friend. ‘Heartwarming.’—Kirkus Reviews. ‘This multi-layered novel explores the weaknesses and strengths of family relationships in a poignant, realistic manner. A suspenseful story that extends the borders of readers’ imaginations while delivering a subliminal message of optimism.’—School Library Journal. ‘Filled with impressively life-like characters, McKenzie’s narrative is compelling from its sobering start to its resonant finish.’—Publishers Weekly (starred review).
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Gr. 5-7. A child's bewilderment and sadness are movingly dramatized in 10-year-old Ritchie's account of his loving mother's sudden disappearance. His father won't say what's happened to her; in fact, he barely talks to Ritchie and his four-year-old sister, Rosie, except to tell them not to bother him. Slowly Ritchie finds out that his mother is in a hospital with a "nervous breakdown," and he tries to imagine what that means. Unfortunately, the bleak realism is interrupted with some kind of cutesy, comic half-fantasy about a "troll" that lives under the bridge and writes to the kids in a special lingo about how to cope with the monster in their lives. The letter writer is really a musician, who provides a warm, nurturing male figure in contrast to the father. The letters are contrived. It's the tension between the boy and his dad that will hold readers. Any child who has tried to fathom adult secrets will recognize Ritchie's terror and isolation. Hazel Rochman
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Book Description HarperTrophy, 1996. Paperback. Book Condition: New. book. Bookseller Inventory # 64406296
Book Description HarperTrophy, 1996. Paperback. Book Condition: New. Bookseller Inventory # DADAX0064406296