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Atlantic Books for the Holidays


Apart /hc

by R MacIntyre & Wendy MacIntyre

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friendship, special needs, parents
list price: $18.95
published: 2007
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Canadian Children's  Book Centre
Librarian review


Jessica places a personals ad in the newspaper in a desperate attempt to find her father. From the other side of the country, a boy named Sween replies. Through letters, a deepening friendship grows between them.

Source: The Canadian Children’s Book Centre. Best Books for Kids & Teens. 2008.

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  • Commended, CCBC Best Books for Kids & Teens (Starred Selection)
  • Commended, OLA Best Bets - Reading for Young Adults (Fiction)
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Jessica, a serious, bookish sixteen-year-old from New Brunswick, places a Personals ad in the Globe and Mail. She is looking for her father, a drug-dealing philanderer who has recently taken off with the local hairdresser. Seventeen-year-old Sween -- an authority-defying drop-out from northern Saskatchewan -- responds. Over time they establish an intense but long-distance relationship in which they provide each other with advice and support as Jessica finds herself attracted to one of her father's biker friends, and Sween suffers a nervous breakdown after fending for himself in a cabin in the bush. Eventually, Sween travels east to help Jess stop her father from putting her autistic brother Timmy in an institution. The resulting encounter is a surprise to them both as they find reality at odds with the images they have of each other.

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Editorial Reviews

...a memorable and outstanding read...This is a thoughtful, engaging narrative that will undoubtedly speak to more mature young adult readers.

— CM Magazine

The authors of this 'novel-in-letters' capture teen angst and growth...The double author format allows the reader to become intimately acquainted with both Jessica and Sween, so different from each other and yet so similar in many ways.

— Resource Links
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Out of print

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About the Authors

R MacIntyre

Rod MacIntyre lives and writes in northern Saskatchewan. His award-winning young adult fiction includes Feeding at Nine, Yuletide Blues, The Blue Camaro and The Crying Jesus.
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Wendy MacIntyre

Wendy MacIntyre was born in Glasgow, Scotland and emigrated to Canada in 1952. Between 1972 and 1976, while living in the Scottish Borders district, she completed her Ph.D. at the University of Edinburgh. Her scholarly works on the American poets Robert Duncan and Charles Olson, as well as her short stories, have been published in journals in the U.S., Britain, and Canada.

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