Cover image for North to Benjamin
Title:
North to Benjamin
ISBN:
9781481497527

9781481497534
Personal Author:
Edition:
First edition.
Publication Information:
New York : Atheneum Books For Young Readers, an imprint of Simon & Schuster Children's Publishing Division, [2018]

©2018
Physical Description:
295 pages ; 22 cm
General Note:
"A Caitlyn Dlouhy Book."
Summary:
Eleven-year-old Edgar and his mother move to Dawson, a town in Yukon, Canada, for a new start, but when Edgar fears his mother's destructive behavior will force them to leave, he turns to a dog named Benjamin to help him stop the worst from happening.
Program Information:
Accelerated Reader AR MG 4.6 9 198594.
Audience:
700L Lexile
Holds:

Available:*

Library
Material Type
Call Number
Status
Searching...
Children's Book Fiction Cumyn
Searching...
Searching...
Children's Book Fiction Cumyn
Searching...
Searching...
Children's Book Fiction Cumyn
Searching...
Searching...
Children's Book Fiction Cumyn
Searching...
Searching...
Children's Book Fiction Cumyn
Searching...
Searching...
Children's Book Fiction Cumyn
Searching...
Searching...
Children's Book Fiction Cumyn
Searching...
Searching...
Children's Book Fiction Cumyn
Searching...

On Order

Summary

Summary

Hatchet meets Maybe a Fox in this piercing novel about Edgar, a boy who has lost the ability to speak and can only bark, and his dog Benjamin as they travel through the freezing Yukon wilderness in order to stop Edgar's mother from making a huge mistake.

Eleven-year-old Edgar knows whenever his mother gets "the look" they won't be staying wherever they are for much longer. Soon it will be another town, another school, and, for Mom, another man. This time they're leaving Toronto--and Roger--behind for the wilds of northwestern Canada.

For once, though, Edgar is excited. They'll be housesitting, and with the house comes Benjamin, an old Newfoundland for Edgar to take care of. Soon after landing in Dawson, Edgar and his mom meet Caroline, a girl Edgar's age, and her dad, Ceese. The moment his mom and Ceese meet, Edgar knows She's going to make him the next Roger; the next man his mom will leave. It doesn't matter that Ceese has a longtime girlfriend, or that Edgar and Caroline are becoming friends--his mom always gets what she wants.

Edgar talks to Benjamin about his concerns, and to Edgar's great surprise, Benjamin not only understands, but wordlessly answers. Just as surprising, Edgar loses his ability to speak to anyone but Benjamin; whenever he tries to talk to a human, his voice becomes a bark. But his mom and Ceese begin to take things too far, and Edgar needs his voice, his human voice, more than ever. Desperate to stop his mother from ruining other people's lives and upturning their own once again, Edgar embarks on a dangerous journey across the frozen Yukon River with only Benjamin by his side.

But the wilderness is not kind. Edgar and Benjamin find themselves in a situation right out of Edgar's favorite Jack London story. With cracking ice, freezing water, bone-chilling temperatures, and looming, lurking wolves, Edgar must find a way to survive before he can stop his mother from wrecking everything.


Author Notes

Alan Cumyn was born in Ottawa, and studied at Royal Roads Military College and Queen's University before earning an M.A. in Creative Writing and English Literature at the University of Windsor. He is a former English teacher and freelance writer.

He has won the Ottawa-Carleton Book Award in 1999 and was a Torgi Award Finalist, as well as a Trillium Award Finalist in 1999.

(Bowker Author Biography)


Reviews 1

School Library Journal Review

Gr 5-8-Edgar and his mother, Stephanie, flee Toronto for the colder climes of northwestern Canada. Although used to his mother's bad breakups, Edgar is hoping for a fresh start in the Yukon. The 11-year-old is more comfortable watching the world at a distance through his camera lens. But even he is surprised when he loses the ability to communicate except by barking after his mother forms yet another inappropriate relationship. Only Benjamin, the Newfoundland they're dog-sitting, seems to understand him. Edgar also gains canine senses in this novel with a magical realism bent, which become especially necessary when the boy sets out on a dangerous journey across the frozen Yukon River with only Benjamin by his side, in order to stop his mother from upturning their lives again. The protagonist is wise beyond his years. Edgar, who had predicted his mother's actions, sees parallels between Stephanie's determination to take what she wants and the miners who starved out First Nations population during the Gold Rush. Cumyn uses Edgar's transformation as a measure to show not only a more radical disappearance, but also a stronger ability to observe the world around his. His survival story, friendship with Benjamin, and coping mechanism will resonate with and fascinate young readers. VERDICT A thoughtful book about an observant and troubled boy, suitable for middle school collections.-Betsy Fraser, Calgary Public Library, Canada © Copyright 2018. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.