Dan Haas You Can Call Me Worm

ISBN 13: 9780395857830

You Can Call Me Worm

3.47 avg rating
( 15 ratings by Goodreads )
 
9780395857830: You Can Call Me Worm
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Ever since Will's parents split up, his father has been acting strangely. Late one night Will and his older brother run away from home, and the two begin a three-day journey that takes them into the heart of Accomack Creek, a narrow strip of woodland in suburban Virginia. They sleep during the days and hike by night, getting closer to the goal: their father's new house. Chased by a teacher from their school, encountering tough kids and drifters, and eating squirrels to appease their hunger, the brothers have almost made it when Will decides to strike out on his own for the last leg of the journey. What he finds at the end is not what he expected, but it is a new beginning. This is one boy's funny, heart-wrenching, and satisfying story of coming to terms with himself and his changing family.

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From School Library Journal:

Grade 4-7. Upset by news that their father has been seen sitting on his roof for several days, 11-year-old Willy (aka Worm) and his older brother, Todd, decide to try to help him. They sneak out of their mother's house at night and decide to make the 25-mile trip through the woods surrounding their suburban neighborhood. The trek becomes dangerous when some menacing teens steal most of their camping equipment. Then, Todd injures his hand, and the boys end up arguing and going their separate ways. When Worm reaches his father's house, he finds the police, along with Todd and their mother, trying to have the man hospitalized. The brothers eventually talk him into coming down and he agrees to seek treatment for his depression. There are several stories going on here, none of which is fully developed. The survival story isn't compelling and many of the problems the boys encounter seem to be little more than contrivances to move the plot along. The evolution of the sibling relationship is also weak. Worm's rambling, first-person narrative is at times unbelievably wise and at other times incredibly naive. There is no foreshadowing of the boys' disagreement, so it comes as a complete surprise. The offhanded treatment of the father's serious problem is also troubling. Even after Dad explains his mental illness, it seems to be resolved much too easily. These parts contains the grain of an interesting story, but they don't come together to form a satisfying whole.?Arwen Marshall, New York Public Library
Copyright 1997 Reed Business Information, Inc.

From Kirkus Reviews:

Worm and his older brother, Todd, have heard that their father, who lives 25 miles away and suffers from depression, has been sitting out on his roof for several days. Determined to help him through this latest crisis, they slip away from home and make the journey to his house on foot, at night, following the course of a creek. Along the way they must contend with their emotions, take care of themselves, and avoid capture. Worm is an interesting creation: a self-aware, clumsy daydreamer who spouts bad poetry, worse jokes, and riddles. Todd is a typical elder son, certain that he has to fix everyone else's problems. Though understated, the love and tension between Todd and Worm are palpable. Within what amounts to a suburban survival story, these two argue their way through forests, both real and emotional, finally finding light on the other side. Haas is thorough but not too tidy: His story is convincing and his characters are, regardless of their feelings for each other, likable. (Fiction. 9-13) -- Copyright ©1997, Kirkus Associates, LP. All rights reserved.

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Dan Haas
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