Being with Henry by Martha Brooks

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"You never know where this life will take you," Henry Olsen tells Laker Wyatt when he finds the boy could, penniless, and sleeping on the street. Raised by his hapless, childlike mother, Laker has often had to act more like a caretaker than a son. It's become easy for him to soothe her with a cup of tea or fake a phone call to her boss on a bad day. But when stepfather number two, Rick the Prick, comes on the scene, everything changes. After Laker fights with Rick, his mother, Audrey, does the unimaginable: She kicks her son out. Drifting aimlessly, Laker meets Henry, eighty-three, a widower with family troubles of his own. Being with Henry brings its own challenges, as well as surprises. How these two disparate souls -- an angry, homeless teenager and a lonely, crotchety old man -- come to know and care for each other makes a sometimes funny, often poignant, and ultimately moving novel about truth and family and the courage it takes to search for these in unexpected places.

About Martha Brooks

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Martha Brooks lives in Winnipeg. Her book "Traveling on into the Light" was named to the international 1996 IBBY Honour List and is an American Library Association Best Book for Young Adults. "Two Moons in August" and "Paradise Caf and Other Stories" were Governor General's Award nominees; the latter also received the 1991 Boston Globe Horn Book Award for distinguished children's fiction. When not writing, Martha can be found performing in local jazz clubs. Maureen Hunter is one of Canada's most successful playwrights. Her work has been produced extensively on Canada's major stages, in the United States, and Britain, and by CBC and BBC Radio. "Atlantis" was a finalist for the Governor General's Award and "Transit of Venus," premiered by the Manitoba Theatre Centre, became the first Canadian play ever staged by the Royal Shakespeare Company of Britain. A native of Saskatchewan, Maureen now lives on the banks of the Red River in Winnipeg.
Published April 1, 2000 by DK CHILDREN. 224 pages
Genres: Young Adult, Literature & Fiction, Children's Books. Fiction

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Born from the short story `The Kindness of Strangers` in her collection Traveling on into the Light and Other Stories (1994) Brooks builds a delicately tuned novel in three parts that pays homage to Capote in its treatment of characters, but stands strongly on its own.

May 20 2010 | Read Full Review of Being with Henry

Publishers Weekly

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Though Brooks (Bone Dance) develops a poignant relationship between a runaway teen and an octogenarian widower, other elements of her story--the awkward structure, improbable plot and stereotyped mino

Feb 28 2000 | Read Full Review of Being with Henry

Publishers Weekly

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During the next several months, Laker and Henry come to rely on each other: Laker offers Henry companionship;

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An old shed that served Henry in earlier years is torn down, but not before everything in it is sorted by Henry, and Vera Lynne discards what she feels Henry no longer needs.

Jan 17 2014 | Read Full Review of Being with Henry

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