Dream Within a Dream
Dream Within a Dream
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Annotation: Louisa is not happy about being sent to stay with her grandparents on Deer Island for the summer while her parents travel. But as she gets to know the place and its people, she opens her heart to a new way of thinking.
Catalog Number: #184388
Format: Publisher's Hardcover
No other formats available
Special Formats: Hot Title Hot Title
Copyright Date: 2019
Edition Date: 2019
Pages: 119 pages
Availability: Available
New Title: Yes
ISBN: 1-534-42959-X
ISBN 13: 978-1-534-42959-8
Dewey: Fic
LCCN: 2018042908
Dimensions: 22 cm.
Subject Heading:
Language: English
Reviews:
ALA Booklist
Twelve-year-old Louisa and her younger brother, Theo, spend every summer on Deer Island with their grandparents Jake and Boots while their parents do bird research. On the cusp of her teens, Louisa fears change yet knows it is inevitable. This summer, Jake contemplates blindness and giving up his beloved 1938 Cord car, and Boots becomes secretive. Theo dreams of living permanently with his grandparents, while Louisa explores her budding friendship with George. A project involving interviews and artwork highlighting some of the island's notable citizens brings many of the novel's subplots together and leads to a satisfying conclusion. Newbery author MacLachlan's writing is both lyrical and succinct, providing readers with everything they need yet leaving much room for contemplation. Her depictions of love are particularly idealized: Jake and Boots, who met as children, still dance; George's mixed-race parents share frequent PDA; and Louisa's career-driven parents (whom Boots describes as dense but "disturbingly" intelligent) keep their emotions to themselves. Louisa and George's blossoming relationship is both heartwarming and rare, perfect in its dreamy innocence.
Publishers Weekly
Newbery Medalist MacLachlan again concisely and authentically conveys character and emotion in this novel about two siblings spending the summer on their grandparents- Deer Island farm. When redheaded Louisa, almost 12 and a -secret writer,- resolutely tells her grandmother, Boots, -I hate change,- the wise woman replies that change can help -you find out who you are.- And change does, in fact, expand Louisa-s sense of self and connection with others. Her innate bond with her grandfather Jake strengthens as he loses his eyesight, and when Jake introduces her to brown-skinned George, a young friend and neighbor whom he-s teaching to drive, Louisa recognizes the perceptive and eloquent boy as a kindred spirit who -makes change sound more interesting to me.- MacLachlan tenderly captures their instantaneous friendship, burgeoning attraction, and uncanny ability to communicate nonverbally-a skill endearingly shared by Boots and Jake. Louisa-s younger brother Theo, a sensitive bookworm who longs to live on the island full-time, instigates another pivotal change that rewardingly caps this resonant story of community, love new and old, and embracing the unknown. Ages 8-12. Agent: Rubin Pfeffer, Rubin Pfeffer Content. (May)
Starred Review for Kirkus Reviews
A kiss on the palm is at once simple and full of emotion, meaning, magic, and…wonder.MacLachlan's latest, too, offers much promise and wonder while also conjuring memories and dreams. Eleven-year-old (almost 12) Louisiana, nicknamed "Louisa," and her brother, Theo, travel to the tiny island where their paternal grandparents, Boots and Jake, live, same as every summer. Louisa does not like change, and her erudite younger brother craves the stability of Boots and Jake's quiet island refuge. Both children live with the gnawing uncertainty of life with bird-watching parents struck by wanderlust. This summer, however, is different. Jake is losing his eyesight. And Louisa meets George. Through these two changes, MacLachlan delivers a sweet, evocative tale of love young and old, the entrenched and enduring paired with the new and tenuous. Her prose is stunningly extravagant in its sparseness, painting a watercolor canvas of emotion with the barest of strokes. Each simple word glides easily to the next, making this a prose poem of discovery told as a story of interconnected lives and feelings. "Why," Louisa asks herself," when I look in the mirror now, do I suddenly look beautiful for the very first time in my life?" Louisa and her family are white, and George, the son of a Tanzanian immigrant and an American aid worker, is black.This book clings to the heart and echoes in the soul for days. (Fiction. 8-12)
Reading Level: 4.0
Interest Level: 4-7
Dream Within a Dream

1

Change


I'm telling my own story here.

I'm a secret writer. My teacher has never read my journal. My mother and father have not read it either. I think my brother, Theo, has read it, but he hasn't said so. My life is like a dream within a dream, as Edgar Allan Poe writes.

For one thing my name is Louisiana. My parents were bird-watching through the South when my mother was very pregnant. What were they thinking?

So I was born in Louisiana.

My name is Louisiana. Louisa for short.

And I have a large mass of long curly red hair. Where did that come from?

My friends have smooth long hair that moves. My hair is long and wildly curly like an out-of-control Brillo pad. Look it up if you don't know what that is. A so-called friend once said, "Too bad about your hair, Louisa."

I am filled with anguish.

My younger brother, Theo, tells me most times boys don't bother saying rude things about hair.

Theo is strangely understanding, yet direct.

"Tough to be you, Lou," he says with sympathy when I complain to him.

"Theo is a linear thinker," says Jake. "Put words to what you are feeling and you can solve it. Like me."

Theo is only eight but could be seventy.

My grandmother Boots says the same thing in her own way.

"Theo is old," she says.

My grandmother's real name is Lily, but she is called Boots because she loves them. Everyone in her family has always worn boots, her grandmother and grandfather, her aunts and uncles and cousins everywhere. Even the babies wear boots. My favorite uncle, whose name I forget, is called Boots too. He's a poet who fell in love with cows and is now a farmer.

My grandmother Boots prefers wellies. She has four pairs in the front closet: red, green, yellow, and black. They are tall and come up to her knees.

When Uncle Boots visited, it was confusing. We tried to change my grandmother's name to Boo.

"No," she said.

"What about Wellie?"

"Never."

So now we have more than one Boots.

Boots knows most everything.

She knows, for instance, that her son--my father--and his wife--my mother--are "dense" about some things even though they're "disturbingly" intelligent, as she puts it.

Boots is my hero.

Our parents have plunked Theo and me on the little island for the long summer, as they always do, while they go off to do their bird research. My father is an ornithologist, and my mother is a photographer. You haven't seen anyone more excited than my father over the possible sighting of an ivory-billed woodpecker in some bug-ridden habitat. Or New Caledonian crows, who sometimes make and use tools to catch grubs. My mother often climbs trees to photograph a bird's nest made of animal fur, human hair, sticks, small bones, and an every-once-in-a-while treasure such as a gold bead. Sometimes baby birds in a nest squawk at her when she surprises them.

Theo refers to our parents' summers as "bird bedlam."

My father, of course, wears boots.

Theo and I love coming to Deer Island for peace, reading books, taking long walks by the water, swimming, and mostly talking to Jake and Boots. Theo talks all year long about the island as if it is his dream.

"Boots?"

"Yes?"

"I heard something when my parents were talking."

Boots nods. She is not shocked that I was eavesdropping. Nothing much shocks Boots.

"They were saying that you and Jake might move to our house when he can't see well enough to drive."

Boots laughs. Right out loud. "No. This is our home. The place we love. We can walk to almost everyplace we want to be."

"Or, they said, maybe we could move here to help," I say.

"Taking you out of school and all you know? Don't worry, Louisa. They're not invited."

I nod, relieved. "I hate change," I say.

"Well, sometimes change can be exciting. An adventure. Sometimes you find out who you are."

"I don't think so," I say.

"I know so," says Boots. "Trust me. I know everything."

She puts her arms around me. "It's hard being you," she says.

"That's what Theo said!" I say.

"Of course he did," says Boots, making me laugh and cry at the same time.

Tess jumps up on us as we stand there in the kitchen.

So Boots puts on her yellow wellies, and we take Tess walking down the field, past the sheep. Tess practices her old habit of herding, nipping at their heels.

They stare and look away again, bored.

Seals are sleeping in the sun. Tess goes over, and they hiss at her. Tess prances and dances around them. She isn't afraid.

The seals aren't afraid either.

The waves are slow and calm.

"There will be a nice sunset tonight," says Boots. "Change, Louisa. The sunset comes, then darkness comes and the moon rises, and then in the morning, the sun. Change comes, and sometimes you can't do anything about it."

"I can try," I say.

"Then you will be unhappy," says Boots.

Herring gulls fly over us, making their laughing sound.

"Jake's not unhappy," I say.

"Jake's positive. He loves his life. 'It is what it is,' he says. 'No problem,' " says Boots.

"What about if he can't drive his car?" I ask.

Boots sighs and throws a stick down the beach for Tess.

"That may be a small problem for him," she says flatly.

Tess runs back and drops the stick at Boots's feet. Boots throws it again.

"But something will happen," she says.

"What do you mean?"

"Something," repeats Boots. "Remember the sunset, the moon, sunrise, the morning sun. Something always happens."

The seals slip back into the sea. Tess watches them swim off in the water. They swim on their backs and look at her. Then they dip down and are gone.

Behind them the small morning ferry leaves the island to go to the mainland. I shade my eyes and look over to the blurry mainland where I live.

But as it turns out, Boots is right.

Things do happen.

And one surprise.

I meet George.

Excerpted from Dream Within a Dream by Patricia MacLachlan
All rights reserved by the original copyright owners. Excerpts are provided for display purposes only and may not be reproduced, reprinted or distributed without the written permission of the publisher.

A young girl finds herself—and so much more—during a summer stay with her grandparents in this tender novel from Newbery Award–winning author Patricia MacLachlan.

When Louisa (short for Louisiana) is sent to stay with her grandparents for the summer, she’s not looking forward to it. While her brother is determined to find a way to stay on Deer Island forever, Louisa would rather be off having adventures with their globetrotting ornithographer parents. She’s a writer, and there’s nothing on all of Deer Island to write about—right?

Louisa quickly discovers that small doesn’t necessarily mean quiet, and the island has plenty of scope for the imagination. It also has George, the boy who helps her see the world in a whole new light.

The end of summer is coming fast, and Louisa must decide what she really wants: travel the world with her parents, or stay on Deer Island with the people she’s only just learning to love?


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