Listening for Crickets
With ears like a bat and webbed toes, it seems as if ten-yearold Jake could fly right out of reality into the freedom of his dreams. No more worries about asthma, special reading class, or his parents’ fighting—just sky. But Jake can’t simply fly away. There’s his little sister, Cassie, to tell stories to when the night sounds become frightening, amazing facts to learn from his best friend Luke, and a safe place—Dragon’s Nest—to build in the backyard.
This beautifully written middle grade novel tells the courageous story of Jake—a night watchman—a protector in the truest sense of the word who finds hope in crickets, friends, teachers, and dreams.
Jake has difficulty reading and writing and faces teasing at school. His father moves from one low-paying job to another, and his parents argue often and loudly. At night he whispers stories of dragons and magic to his little sister Cassie in order to drown out the sounds of their anger. His dreams send him flying on strong batwings, searching for the sounds of a cricket choir that will bring good luck. He and Cassie even build a secret Dragon's Nest in the hedge as a bolthole to which they can escape when things get scary. But there is more to his life than his problems: He has a loyal friend, caring teachers and a kind neighbor. Gifaldi strikes just the right chord, never preaching, judging or allowing the plot to become maudlin or contrived. Jake is a warm, real character who engages the reader's compassion. The conclusion is realistic as well, providing no fairy-tale ending but leaving both Jake and readers with some resolution and hope for the future. Genuine and touching. (Fiction. 9-13)
Author : David Gifaldi
Publisher : Henry Holt and Co. (BYR)
Published Year : April 2008
Subject : Children's Fiction, Science Fiction, Fantasy, Magic
ISBN : 080507385X
ISBN13 : 9780805073850