Books by Noela Young

TOBY by Margaret Wild
by Margaret Wild, illustrated by Noela Young
ANIMALS
Released: March 1, 1994

Toby, a faithful and affectionate golden retriever, is 14; he's dim of eye, deaf, and smelly, but still his family loyally forgives him everything—all except Sara, whose only apparent response to Toby's infirmities is anger. Her younger brothers, who coax Toby into one more ball game or take him for a walk in a baby carriage, are mystified by Sara's rejection of their beloved old dog. Mom explains that Sara really does still love Toby, but- -with junior high looming—``...doesn't want anything else to change.'' After the vet confirms that the dog is in pain and ``He can't get better. It would be kindest to put him to sleep,'' the two grieving boys creep downstairs to spend Toby's last night with him, only to find that Sara has preceded them. Wild describes the realistic events with touching simplicity. Young's beautifully observed watercolors are less impressionistic than Shirley Hughes's, and include more literal details, but they are in the same richly empathetic spirit. (Picture book. 4-8) Read full book review >
THE TIMEKEEPER by Emily Rodda
CHILDREN'S
Released: Oct. 1, 1993

What happens when a discrepancy in time upsets parallel worlds? Here, it's akin to the shifting of tectonic plates, coupled with the dumping of a bottomless junk drawer. In a sequel to Finders Keepers (1991), Patrick Minter is summoned to cross the Barrier once again, in order to prevent the destruction of the worlds on both sides. To avert this rapidly approaching annihilation, Patrick must get the Chestnut Tree Village clock mended before the stroke of noon, despite numerous obstacles: a rapidly deteriorating Barrier wall through which drop increasing numbers of objects from the other side; greedy Barrier combers; a desperately ill timekeeper; a missing brother and sister. Readers unfamiliar with Finders Keepers may occasionally feel confused (especially by the computer elements), but fans of the first novel will enjoy this engaging light fantasy. Illustrations not seen. (Fiction. 9-12) Read full book review >
FINDERS KEEPERS by Emily Rodda
CHILDREN'S
Released: Oct. 23, 1991

An original fantasy from Australia takes middle child Patrick across the ``Barrier'' between alternate worlds to play in a strange quiz show: he's given riddles about three items lost in his own world and told to bring them back for game-show prizes. The items won't look the same in his world: they'll seem less valuable. The quiz-show host is a robot (``What human being could smile like that for hours at a time?''), and the items lost mean much more to the contestants than anyone is at first aware. As his search goes on, a power breakdown almost makes it impossible for Patrick to complete the tasks, but he does restore the items, plus a game-show staff member's sister; he also makes friends, realizes the importance of his family, and ends up with his heart's desire: his own computer. Patrick's family, arguing but caring about each other, and the boy's abandoned daydream about having a quiet house to keep his computer in ring true. Though the fantasy is limited to the barrier and the passage of things between the worlds, it's clever; it even includes an explanation for single socks and other misplaced things. An amusing product of an age of game shows and wishful thinking. (Fiction. 9-12) Read full book review >
THE FEATHER STAR by Patricia Wrightson
Released: March 1, 1963

A pale, rather sickly Mr. Martin and his family arrive ready to enjoy their "beach holiday". Lindy and her young brother, Chris, explore the beaches and rock caves by the sea— they make a few friends who also explore the beaches and rock caves by the sea. The youngsters' adventures are less exciting than those of the famous Bobbsey Twins, but each day they have a glorious time on the beach. The parentless children are vaguely etched against an equally formless background in this book which is most assuredly not exciting reading— nor is it carefully written. Read full book review >