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What's the hook? Two different perspectives provide interesting contrast in the exploration of issues of adoption and identity. What are the themes? Families, generations and identity. Teaching points? Provides numerous opportunities for speaking and listening activities and creative writing.
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Born in Knotty Ash, Liverpool, Berlie Doherty is the youngest of three children. She has been a social worker, a journalist, a teacher, and, for the past fifteen years, a writer.
Berlie has twice won the prestigious Carnegie Medal, for ‘Grannie was a Buffer Girl’ in 1987 and for ‘Dear Nobody’ in 1992. She lives in the Derbyshire Peak District.From School Library Journal:
Grade 7 Up?James, at 15, is a championship diver who hopes to compete in future Olympics. In the midst of his most intensive training, however, he becomes obsessed with the idea of finding his birth mother. His parents have always been open with him about his adoption, offering the scant information they have about his birth?the baby clothes he was wearing, a strange stone, and a torn bit of envelope on which a note is scrawled. Examining the envelope closely, James deciphers enough letters of the return address to determine the name of the village, and instead of taking a train to London for a week of coaching, he heads for Derbyshire. Interspersed with James's story is his birth mother's narrative. As he nears his destination, the dramatic circumstances of his birth unfold, giving readers a sense of the desperation felt by a young farm girl who hid her pregnancy from her overbearing father. When the two finally meet, readers know just how little?and how much?they have to offer one another. The two stories intertwine exquisitely as the climax nears, and the ending is truly satisfying without sentimentality. Doherty's characterizations are especially strong and her plot is well crafted to carry readers through James's emotional upheaval. The Snake-Stone is an important book for anyone who has wondered about the emotions surrounding issues of adoption. The impact is similar to Lois Lowry's Find a Stranger, Say Good-bye (Houghton, 1978), which has a female protagonist.?Connie C. Rockman, formerly at Ferguson Library, Stamford, CT
Copyright 1996 Reed Business Information, Inc.
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Book Description Longman Group, 2000. Hardcover. Condition: Neu. Neu - An adopted boy searches for his birth mother in this sensitive British novel from the author of White Peak Farm. Fifteen-year-old James, a champion diver, narrates most of the story, which is interwoven with brief but poignant passages in the unknown mother's voice. James, fortuitously, has the note, written on the back of a torn envelope, that his birth mother presumably left with him ("Look after Sammy") before abandoning him in a stranger's mailbox. Even more fortuitously, the envelope bears fragments of a return address. A portrait in determination, James discerns the beginnings of a trail. As James investigates, the mother recounts, in minimal but telling detail, the wrenching events surrounding his birth. Doherty gradually, deftly draws the two narrative strands together, leading to the moment-all the more powerful for what is left unsaid-when mother and son meet. She leaves both James and the reader ample opportunity to sort out the conflicting feelings inherent to his search, and his eventual acceptance of his true, adoptive home seems all the more satisfying for its being hard-won. A touching exploration of a difficult subject. Ages 11-up. 191 pp. Englisch. Seller Inventory # INF1000004757
Book Description Longman, 2000. Condition: New. book. Seller Inventory # M0582434556