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INSIDE GRANDAD by Peter Dickinson Kirkus Star


by Peter Dickinson

Age Range: 8 - 12

Pub Date: Feb. 10th, 2004
ISBN: 0-385-74641-5
Publisher: Wendy Lamb/Random

Are selkies the cause or the cure for Gavin’s grandfather’s stroke? In this spare but emotionally rich tale, Gavin is closer to his grandfather than to anyone else in his seabound family. Together, Gavin and Grandad are making a wonderful model boat for Gavin’s birthday—the kind Grandad usually sells for thousands. One day, Grandad, inspired by a nearby seal, tells Gavin about selkies, mythical seal/human shapeshifters. Gavin names his new model boat “Selkie,” and instantly Grandad is felled by a stroke. Half-convinced Grandad’s stroke has mystical origins, Gavin wears himself out at the hospital, helping care for his non-responsive grandfather. Will Grandad ever recover, or will he remain unconscious forever? Can the selkies help? Gavin’s grief recovery, beautifully depicted through explorations of just a few personal relationships, is rich with psychological realism. With a conclusion that’s satisfyingly magical without being pat, a touching story of love and determination. (Fiction. 8-12)