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After her father dies in the river they both love, twelve-year-old Lily struggles to come to terms with her loss, and in so doing, she helps a paraplegic former pilot accept his condition and move on with his life.
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Grade 4-6-Twelve-year-old Lily Star moves from her family's rural 40 acres on the Sandy River to a small apartment over the hardware store in town following her mother's sale of the land to the mysterious T. R. Tracy. Lily is terribly attached to her previous home and connects its loss with the loss of her father, who died a year earlier. After their initial suspicions of one another, she and T. R. begin to bond when they nurse an injured bird back to health. T. R. is a former test pilot whose legs have been disabled in an airplane accident, and both he and Lily are angry at the changes forced upon them by fate. It's not a great surprise that by the end of the story the pair have not only forged a friendship, but that they also come to an acceptance of their respective situations. The plot settles neatly with T. R. back in the air testing planes designed for the disabled and Lily taking care of her old home for him. The first-person narrative may help readers to identify with Lily and her problems, but the descriptive vocabulary is limited, and some sentence transitions are choppy. The episodic story line is simply not compelling enough to bear out the serious themes that Whelan introduces in the very late chapters. Forgiving nature for taking away a beloved person or experience is a worthy endeavor, but the sum of this novel's disjointed parts don't quite add up to the whole of the poignant resolution.
Peg Solonika, Carnegie Library of Pittsburgh, PA
Copyright 1998 Reed Business Information, Inc.
In a patchy but engaging short novel, a child cures a hurt of her own by battering down the emotional walls an injured man has erected around himself. A year after her father died of a heart attack while fishing in his beloved river, Lily watches fences going up around her former home, and resolves that they won't keep her out. She lovesand blamesthe river, and finds, in the house's new owner, someone who is just as ambivalent about the sky: Paraplegic ex-test pilot T.R. Tracy considered the sky safe before a crash robbed him of the use of his legs. Lily ignores T.R.'s attempts to fend her off, and they quickly become friends. Although Lily doesn't make T.R. a ``project,'' readers will understand how she draws him out of his self-imposed shell; on the other hand, a string of activities with her friend Laura is only weakly connected to the main story, and T.R., though wheelchair-bound, gets around with suspicious ease. The supporting characters are sketchy, but Lily is as irresistible as a force of nature, and the northern Michigan setting has almost as much presence. In the end, T.R. accepts an offer to test aircraft adapted for disabled pilots, and Lily discovers that her grief is no longer quite so sharp. The story never really comes together, but readers will appreciate Lily's take- no-prisoners style of dealing with adults. (Fiction. 10-12) -- Copyright ©1998, Kirkus Associates, LP. All rights reserved.
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Book Description Eerdmans Books for Young Readers, 1999. Paperback. Condition: New. No Jacket. New Paperback book copy of Forgive the River, Forgive the Sky by Gloria Whelan. Winner of the National Book Award for Homeless Bird. Recommended for children in grades 4 through 8. Grand Rapids MI: Eerdmans Books for Young Readers, 1999. 85 pages. 5.5 x 8.25 inches, 21 cm. From the publisher: After her father dies in the river they both love, twelve-year-old Lily struggles to come to terms with her loss, and in so doing, she helps a paraplegic former pilot accept his condition and move on with his life.Accelerated Reader AR 4.5. Seller Inventory # 005431
Book Description Eerdmans Books For Young Readers, 2003. Paperback. Condition: New. Seller Inventory # DADAX0802852564
Book Description Eerdmans Books for Young Readers, 2003. Condition: New. book. Seller Inventory # M0802852564
Book Description Eerdmans Books for Young Readers. PAPERBACK. Condition: New. 0802852564 New Condition. Seller Inventory # NEW7.0372965