MR. WELLINGTON by David Rabe


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Age Range: 8 - 12
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Children’s literature abounds with both happy and sad stories about children and their pets. Occasionally, the pet is a wild animal that can’t and won’t be kept; think of the classic The Yearling. It is this vein that the acclaimed playwright Rabe, noted for his Vietnam-era dramas, mines in a slim novella that reads as though it were based on an actual incident. A young squirrel is separated from his family in the woods. Jonathan, a middle schooler bicycling home from soccer practice, picks him up in his sneaker and tries to keep him. The story unfolds from the perspective of each, but the squirrel’s narrative never crosses into anthropomorphism: He is frightened and lonely and reacts very strongly to the strange and threatening smells of his new environment. Realizing that neither he nor his older brother who is home from college has all the answers, Jonathan turns to the Internet and contacts a woman who specializes in wildlife rescues. Taken as a whole, the tale is an object lesson presented with all the correct answers in an engaging narrative. Parker’s final interior art not seen. (Fiction. 8-12)

Pub Date: April 1st, 2009
ISBN: 978-1-59643-328-1
Page count: 96pp
Publisher: Neal Porter/Roaring Brook
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: March 15th, 2009


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