Alida's Song

by Gary Paulsen

This companion to Paulsen’s short autobiographical work The Cookcamp... read more

This companion to Paulsen’s short autobiographical work The Cookcamp (Orchard, 1991) reunites the same young boy, now fourteen, with his grandmother Alida who is now employed by the Nelson’s, cooking and doing housekeeping for two Norwegian bachelor farmers. The youth who just flunked eighth grade joins her for the summer. Because his drunken parents can hardly care for themselves on a regular basis, he’s learned to take care of himself, finding newspaper delivery work to give him some change and even other places to sleep. During this particular season on the farm, he runs into unexpected examples of generosity and expressions of love that move him beyond the bleak school year he just experienced. Paulsen’s facility with memoir, his skill in establishing believable characters about whom to care, and his gift at using few words to establish specific times and locales are evident in this moving story. (Ages 12- 16)

© Cooperative Children's Book Center, Univ. of Wisconsin - Madison, 2000

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