A BRIDGE TO THE STARS by Henning Mankell


Age Range: 14 & up
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Eleven-year-old Joel lives with his father in a remote village in the north of Sweden. His father is a lumberjack, but the stories he tells Joel are always of his adventures as a seaman. Why did his father give up the life of a seaman to become a lumberjack so far from the sea he loved? And why did his mother abandon them? These and other unanswered questions fill Joel’s mind while awake and asleep. He has a rich imagination that allows him to embellish his father’s stories and to create fantasies of his own. So the dog he sees outside his window becomes a mystical creature that will lead him to the stars, or at least far away from the cold and snow. He sneaks out night after night, and has several adventures, including a near tragedy that changes his relationship with his father and brings them closer together. Adult author Mankell has crafted an unusual coming-of-age tale, with several unexpected twists. Although narrated in the third person, the use of the present tense brings the reader directly into Joel’s thoughts and establishes an empathetic relationship. Compelling. (Fiction. YA)

Pub Date: Dec. 11th, 2007
ISBN: 978-0-385-73495-0
Page count: 176pp
Publisher: Delacorte
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: Nov. 15th, 2007


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