TAKING WING by Nancy Price Graff

TAKING WING

Age Range: 9 - 13

KIRKUS REVIEW

Faulty characterizations mar this WWII-era story about a boy who raises a clutch of duck eggs after the mother duck is killed. Thirteen-year-old Gus goes to live on his grandparent’s Vermont farm after his father enrolls in the Air Force and his mother must enter a tuberculosis sanatorium. After his grandfather accidentally kills the mother duck, Gus takes charge of the seven eggs, eventually hatching four ducklings with the help of Louise, an impoverished Quebecois girl he befriends. The historical setting and farm life are well portrayed, but the characters aren’t engaging. Gus often seems far younger than 13. He’s maddeningly inconsistent: He loves the ducks; he’s indifferent to them. He’s reluctant to shoot a raccoon that comes after the ducks, but then nearly kills Louise’s father after the man hunts a duck to feed his starving children. When Gus “forgives” Mr. Lavictoire, we sense that he—and perhaps the author—have missed the point. (Fiction. 9-13)

Pub Date: May 23rd, 2005
ISBN: 0-618-53591-8
Page count: 224pp
Publisher: Clarion
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: May 1st, 2005




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