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Holt, Kimberly Willis.

421 ratings by Goodreads
ISBN 10: 0805063617 / ISBN 13: 9780805063615
Published by Henry Holt., NY:, 2003
From Kathmandu Books (Winter Park, FL, U.S.A.)

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HC in dust jacket. 1st Printing. This copy signed by Holt. A fine copy in a fine dust jacket. Bookseller Inventory # 11550

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Bibliographic Details


Publisher: Henry Holt., NY:

Publication Date: 2003

Signed: Signed by Author(s)

Edition: 1st edition.

About this title


A powerful new novel from the award-winning author of When Zachary Beaver Came to Town.

Isabel's mother died peacefully. At least that's what Isabel likes to think since no one will talk about the truth. But the truth has a way of revealing itself at night. Ta`Ta sleeps curled up on the floor right where Mama's body was found. Olivia wets her bed and wakes repeatedly from nightmares, and Frank starts carving his anger into his bedroom wall. It's up to Isabel to help her family get beyond the pain and loss--to be the keeper of the night. But who will be there for Isabel and help her through to the other side?

Set on the lush island of Guam, Kimberly Willis Holt has written a painfully beautiful story about a young woman's struggle to protect her family after suicide hits home.


In a fascinating departure from her usual folksy Southern fiction, award-winning author Kimberly Willis Holt transports her readers to the island of present-day Guam, where thirteen-year-old Isabel’s family is broken by her mother’s suicide. Numbed by her mother‘s death, Isabel grimly plods through each day, while scribbling in her ever-present notebook. But existence on the colorful, richly cultured island hasn’t ended, and life keeps interrupting Isabel’s sorrow. Her best friend Terecita needs help in becoming the best female cock-fighter on Guam, her father’s fishing assistant, Roman, appears to be flirting with her, and Auntie Bernadette, the local healer, keeps trying to school her in the art of herbs. Meanwhile, Isabel is disturbed by the fact that her father has practically stopped speaking, and her brother Frank is beginning to cut himself when he thinks no one is looking. But Isabel sees, and her heart is hardened: "I may look like my mother, but I’m not like her...I’m not like my mother at all. I am here." Isabel’s challenge will be to learn how to heal, and with the help of her vibrant community, she will. Holt is a masterful plotter--each strand of Isabel’s story comes together beautifully. But that doesn’t mean Holt sacrifices description or character for storyline. Every nuance of the Guam landscape and culture is seen and heard, from the quirky native "eyebrow language," to the illegal thrill of cock fighting. An original and intriguing novel that will send students searching for Guam in the nearest atlas. (Ages 12 to 18) --Jennifer Hubert

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