DADDY'S CLIMBING TREE by C.S. Adler

DADDY'S CLIMBING TREE

Age Range: 9 - 12
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KIRKUS REVIEW

 For Jessica, 11, it's unfathomable that her ``big, blond, teddy bear father'' could have been hit by a car while jogging and will never return. ``He was too necessary, too essential, like sunlight was, or air, or food.'' The evidence--calls from friends, cremation, funeral--mounts up, but doesn't convince her. There is one place he could be, she reasons, so she and six-year-old brother Tycho set off across the state forest that separates their new split-level from their beloved old home, the farmhouse where Dad grew up; loyal Tycho keeps trying to get Jessica to admit what he's begun to accept, but Jessica's not ready to embrace the truth. The momentum falters as they lose their way and are helped by a reclusive refugee from an old age home and by an indigent (and parentless) classmate, but the story moves toward a powerful conclusion when Jessica climbs the magnificent beech their father loved as a boy. Aching physically and emotionally, she struggles to replace his sweet, strong, physical presence with a sense of his spirit. Exquisitely, Adler captures Jessica's grief and denial, treats it truthfully, and releases it with solace she can bear to accept. Clear-eyed and cathartic, with unusually well-realized characters (especially warmly affectionate Dad and brisk, more reserved Mom): one of Adler's best. (Fiction. 9-12)

Pub Date: April 20th, 1993
ISBN: 0-395-63032-0
Page count: 136pp
Publisher: Clarion
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: April 15th, 1993




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