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The Canning Season

Polly Horvath

938 ratings by Goodreads
ISBN 10: 0374399565 / ISBN 13: 9780374399566
Published by Farrar Staus Giroux, New York, 2003
Condition: Fine Hardcover
From oddduckbooks (silverdale, WA, U.S.A.)

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Quantity Available: 1

About this Item

Book is in Near Fine condition, with no evidence of being opened past copyright page. Jacket is in VG+ conditon with slight bending along the top of the back and spine; there is a 2"+ scratch on the back of the jacket; jacket also has a "National Book Award Winner" sticker on the front. 196 pages. Bookseller Inventory # 000083

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Bibliographic Details

Title: The Canning Season

Publisher: Farrar Staus Giroux, New York

Publication Date: 2003

Binding: Hard Cover

Book Condition:Fine

Dust Jacket Condition: Very Good

Edition: First Edition

About this title

Synopsis:

Love under trying circumstances

One night out of the blue, Ratchet Clark’s ill-natured mother tells her that Ratchet will be leaving their Pensacola apartment momentarily to take the train up north. There she will spend the summer with her aged relatives Penpen and Tilly, inseparable twins who couldn’t look more different from each other. Staying at their secluded house, Ratchet is treated to a passel of strange family history and local lore, along with heaps of generosity and care that she has never experienced before. Also, Penpen has recently espoused a new philosophy – whatever shows up on your doorstep you have to let in. Through thick wilderness, down forgotten, bear-ridden roads, come a variety of characters, drawn to Penpen and Tilly’s open door. It is with vast reservations that the cautious Tilly allows these unwelcome guests in. But it turns out that unwelcome guests may bring the greatest gifts.

By turns dark and humorous, Polly Horvath offers adolescent readers enough quirky characters and outrageous situations to leave them reeling! The Canning Season is the winner of the 2003 National Book Award for Young People's Literature.

Review:

As in Roald Dahl's James and the Giant Peach, Polly Horvath tells the story of an abandoned child who is sent to live with two distant relatives in a big, lonely house. The magic in Horvath's story, however, lies not in talking bugs but in the hearts and minds of its characters. Thirteen-year-old Ratchet Clark, a girl with a deformity on her shoulder blade her breezily cruel, self-absorbed mother calls "That Thing," is unceremoniously kicked out for the summer while her mom attends to important things, like how to gain entry into the prestigious Pensacola country club. Mom drops Ratchet off at her great second-cousins' enormous, turreted house in Maine, a remote seaside estate surrounded by oily blueberry bogs and bears.

What starts out as a fairly grim proposition transforms as Ratchet befriends the endearing, downright hilarious 91-year-old twins Aunt Tilly and Aunt Penpen who are "as different as chalk and cheese" and learns the ways of rural Maine. When another unwanted teenage girl named Harper ("obnoxious, but strangely compelling") enters the scene, the household dynamic changes yet again. Though fairytale-like in its setting and its charm, do not be fooled. Suicide, decapitation, wretched mothers, and a sprinkling of profanity pepper this poignant, philosophical, darkly humorous novel that dips into subjects from technology to love to death. In Horvath's capable hands, readers are left believing in the best of human nature as she switches effortlessly from the sublime to the ridiculous and back again. Wild stories, brilliant dialogue, and vats of compassion distinguish Newbery Honor author Horvath's latest offering. (Ages 12 and older) --Karin Snelson

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