Shadow-Catcher by Betty Levin

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It is 1892, and Jonathan Capewell, a farm boy who dreams of becoming a big-city detective, is sent from home to look after his mysterious grandfather. Grandpa is a traveling photographer, and his independent ways have never included family members -- certainly not his youngest grandchild.

After a grueling journey, Jonathan and Grandpa shoot an image of a puzzling struggle on a raging river in the Maine woods. At first they don't suspect it's anything more than a logging accident. But later the scene comes back to haunt them when a stranger shows an uncommon interest in the undeveloped negatives.

Who is this over-friendly stranger? Why does he seem so determined to have those pictures? The clues point to something that Jonathan has already begun to suspect: what happened on the rapids that day was no accident....


About Betty Levin

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Betty Levin is the author of many popular books for young people, including The Banished; Look Back, Moss; Away to Me, Moss; Island Bound; Fire in the Wind; and The Trouble with Gramary. Betty Levin has a sheep farm in Lincoln, Massachusetts, where she also raises and trains sheepdogs. In Her Own Words... "I started writing stories almost as soon as I began to read. They were derivative and predictable-as much a way of revisiting characters and places in books I loved as it was a means of self-expression. I don't remember when words and their use became important. In the beginning was the story, and for a long time it was all that mattered. "Even though I always wrote, I imagined becoming an explorer or an animal trainer. This was long before I had to be gainfully employed. It wasn't until after I'd landed in the workplace, first in museum research and then in teaching, that I returned to story writing-this time for my young children. Then a fellowship in creative writing at the Bunting Institute of Radcliffe College gave me and my storymaking a chance. One affirmation led to another, and now there are books-and some readers. "When I talk with children in schools and libraries, I realize that child readers are still out there. When they get excited about a character or a scene, a new dimension opens for them, a new way of seeing and feeling and understanding. "Of course there is always one child who asks how it feels to be famous and to be recognized in supermarkets. I explain that the only people who recognize me are those who have seen me working my sheep dogs or selling my wool at sheep fairs. That response often prompts another query: Why write books if they don't make you rich and famous? I usually toss that question back at the children. Why do they invent stories? How does story writing make them feel? "Eventually we explore the distinction between wanting to be a writer and needing to write. If we want to write, then we must and will. Whether or not we become published authors, we all have tales to tell and stories to share. Literature can only continue to grow from the roots of our collective experience if children understand that they are born creative and that all humans are myth users and storytellers."
Published November 23, 2010 by Greenwillow Books. 172 pages
Genres: Children's Books, Literature & Fiction. Fiction

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Arriving in a town called Masham, Jonathan is astonished to learn that his grandfather has a photography gallery and Annie, the spirited daughter of the woman who runs it, calls Grandpa “Uncle Rodney.” Grandpa keeps putting off developing the pictures, even though a local man seems very intereste...

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Publishers Weekly

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In this somewhat belabored whodunit set in the late 1800s, Levin (The Banished) introduces amateur sleuth Jonathan Capewell, who'd rather be on the ""mean streets"" of the city snagging ""sly criminals"" than do his chores on his family's remote farm in Maine.

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