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On a small Vermont farm in 1932, 12-year-old Lily constantly argues with her older sister, Emily. Into this combative atmosphere comes Great-Aunt Nell, who seems to understand both girls. But everything changes when in an act of revenge, Lily pushes Emily into a quarry. Soon afterward, Emily is diagnosed with polio and placed in an iron lung. Despite her intense sibling rivalry, Lily gives up what she most needs and loves -- her horse -- to help Emily, and by doing so makes a poignantly selfless gesture.
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“I grew up on a dairy farm in a region known as Vermont’s Northeast Kingdom, along with one sister and three brothers in an area our Scottish ancestors settled almost two hundred years ago.
“Since graduating from Johnson State College Vermont with majors in both art and athletic training, I have worked as a coach, trainer, energy auditor for the Extension Service, and mostrecently as Elderhostel Director and cross-country ski instructor at the Craftsbury Sports Center before turning to writing full-time.
“I have many passions. I am an athlete, naturalist, artist, and a writer, and all of the things I do are rooted in the Northeast Kingdom. I run five to ten miles each morning, cross-country ski, mountain bike, swim, and play tennis. I also played field hockey all across the country for many years. I love the outdoors, and study and sketch birds and wildflowers which are most often the subjects of my watercolor paintings. For the past seven years, my husband, Tom, and I have beenbuilding a timber-frame house. We both enjoy working with wood, and Tom shares my love of the land, sports and animals: we have a Morgan horse, five dogs, and eight cats. We lovegardening and have planted an orchard of old apple varieties. And I love histories and walking old cemeteries.
“My first children’s book, The Canada Geese Quilt, grew out of my love andadmiration for my grandmother, Helen Urie Rowell, and a special quilt the two of us made together. My grandmother began quilting when she was in her sixties, and over the next fifteen years she made over 230 quilts. I designed about twenty of them. Most of them are of birds,wildflowers and starry skies, but one is of Canada geese — and that inspired the book.
“My husband and I live in Albany, Vermont, where I am always at work on new books.”
Grade 5-7-In this somewhat contrived but engaging coming-of-age story set in rural Vermont in 1932, Lily, 12, relates events that are tragic, wonderful, and sometimes humorous. She has always felt that her parents favor her sister Emily. Lily has always wanted a horse; her sister wants a cat-and gets it. The unexpected arrival from India of Great-Aunt Nell provides both excitement and diversion, allowing Lily to eventually see both herself and her rivalry with her sister with new insight. When Emily contracts polio, she is placed in an iron lung but her condition worsens. Lily is then torn between resentment-Emily now gets more attention than ever-and fear and compassion for her sister. After seeing a diving-horse team at the circus, Lily practices in secret with a horse that she and Aunt Nell have rescued from abuse, and later devises an altruistic scheme. The characterizations and plot devices lack subtlety. Lily is the most fully realized character; the others are mainly types, and the author brings in intrigue, coincidence, derring-do, and even the hint of assisted suicide. Nevertheless, the first-person narrative flows gracefully between the present and the recent past. As the story progresses, Lily becomes less self-absorbed and more sensitive to the needs of others, and readers will identify with her frustration, sibling rivalry, and, ultimately, her pain at the loss of her sister.
Corinne Camarata, Port Washington Public Library, NY
Copyright 2000 Reed Business Information, Inc.
"About this title" may belong to another edition of this title.
Book Description Puffin Books, 2002. Paperback. Condition: New. Never used!. Seller Inventory # P110142301434
Book Description Puffin Books, 2002. Condition: New. Natalie Kinsey-Warnock (illustrator). book. Seller Inventory # M0142301434