A NovelBook - 2006
Canadian Children's Book Centre Our Choice, 2007
White Pine Honour Book, 2008
Evergreen Teen Book Award Nominee, 2009
No one is who they seem to be in Charlie's world. Not her father, the boy she likes, or even the mysterious man from her mother's funeral.
Sixteen-year-old Charlie, an ambitious and dedicated writer who thinks her small-town life doesn't offer any material for her work, is sure of three things:
That she doesn't want to spend her summer with her father's girlfriend and her triplets,
And that she has to get away.
She decides to spend the summer with her grandmother on remote Lake Ringrose in northern Ontario, where she thinks she can laze on a hammock all summer and get in touch with her mother's roots. Instead, she steps into a series of unexpected adventures that will alter her view of what seemed a dull and tedious existence. For one thing, she agrees to compete in the gruelling Four Islands Race. Then she falls for Kerry, a handsome local hunk, and wants to tell him how she feels. As revelation upon revelation builds, she discovers the unthinkable: Kerry is her half-brother and the man she's always taken to be her father isn't after all. And then there's the mystery of the Chocolate Moose Man, an almost mythical figure who turned up at her mother's funeral thirteen years before.
It's all rich grist for a keen-eyed young writer's mill, as Charlie learns that the best material comes not from exciting travels and circumstances, but from journeys to new places inside herself.
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"Was it normal to know precisely who I wasn't, but not have a clue who I was?" Sixteen--year-old Charlena, "Charlie," definitely knows that she doesn't want to spend the summer with her father and his girlfriend, so she escapes to Gram's cottage on Lake Ringrose, where she hopes to explore her deceased mother's roots and lick her wounds over her creative-writing teacher's stinging words at the close of the school year. Interesting characters and a strong sense of setting bring the small northern Ontario community to life. Charlie doesn't realize that her gram's warnings against getting romantically involved with handsome local boy Kerry are founded not just on over protectiveness but on a family secret dealing with Charlie's true paternity. More than one mystery comes to light here, and all of the story's threads wrap up neatly at summer's end, including a different romance for Charlie.
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