• Title: The Carved Box
  • Author: Gillian Chan
  • Released: 2004-04-30
  • Language: English
  • Pages: 0
  • ISBN: 0606302069
  • ISBN13: 978-0606302067
  • ASIN: 0606302069
From School Library Journal Gr 5-8-As soon as orphaned Callum Murdoch arrives in the Canadian wilderness from his home in Scotland, he uses nearly all his money to buy an abused dog from her owner. Dog proves to be the teen's source of comfort as he adjusts to life on his Uncle Rory's homestead. A scholar, the young man resents the monotonous, never-ending hard work; however, he grows to care for his new family, and, at the prompting of Dog, takes responsibility during a crisis. The animal provides a mystical element to this seemingly straightforward historical novel, set just after the American Revolution. When Callum purchases her, he receives a mysterious carved box and instructions never to open it if he desires Dog always to be his companion. In a climactic moment, the box accidentally breaks and readers discover the surprising secret-that she also has a human shape. This mystical ending seems contrived to demonstrate that Callum no longer needs the support of Dog and adds a jarring element to an otherwise highly readable tale of a young man's relationship with his pet, his family, and himself.

Crystal Faris, Nassau Library System, Uniondale, NY

Copyright 2001 Cahners Business Information, Inc.

--This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

From Gr. 6-8. Orphaned 15-year-old Callum makes the long journey from Scotland to Upper Canada to live with his uncle. Rory is a good man, but Callum is ill-equipped for the harshness of eighteenth-century farm life. Callum's first act is to spend his only coin on a dog being abused by its master and a small carved box that comes with the animal. But Dog succors him through the unremitting labor of the farm, the warring with his sometimes fractious cousins, and his longing for the sweet memory of his mother. Dog listens as though she understands and acts strangely when too far from the carved box. Callum makes a number of mistakes both large and small, but it takes a raging snowstorm and escaped oxen to manifest Dog's true nature. A fantasy element seems tacked on rather than fully integrated, but readers may not notice that as they are swept along with Callum's many trials. For larger collections. GraceAnne DeCandido
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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