By Kate Banks
Farrar, Straus and Giroux (BYR), Hardcover, 9780374317867, 160pp.
Publication Date: March 24, 2005
What kind of parents would name their child Dillon Dillon?
For his tenth birthday, Dillon's parents give him a red rowboat with his name painted on the stern: Dillon Dillon. Why did his parents give him a name like that? To Dillon, it seems like the right time to find out. The truth alters everything Dillon has ever known or felt about himself and his family. But with the rowboat Dillon finds a new freedom as he embarks on a journey that takes him back to his beginnings. His discovery of an island and his memorable encounters with a pair of nesting loons bring him face-to-face with the magic and wonder of life. And though he cannot decipher all its mysteries, Dillon acquires, through these legendary birds, an understanding and acceptance of the world and his place in it.
In a powerful story full of questions, Kate Banks creates a character full of hope and courage. He lets us know what he is thinking - and it's this inner dialogue that we respond to, his constant bewilderment at the way things are that makes us love Dillon Dillon, from his crazy name to his tenacious spirit.
"Kate Banks has written a gentle book about the nature of being." --Polly Horvath
"This is a book to be experienced with all the senses. The ache of reckoning as Dillon's summer brings him face-to-face with the unexpected truths of his life is turned by Banks's sensitive prose into a wonder-filled, moving quest for understanding. Beautifully rendered, this summer by the lake will linger with readers as surely as if they had rowed to Dillon's island and befriended his loons themselves." --Karen Hesse
"Established as a skillful writer of deceptively simple picture books . . . Banks's first novel is intriguingly complex, enigmatic, and brilliant . . . The flow of language is as smooth as calm water, the imagery graceful . . . Banks has crafted a poignant quest for understanding by an unforgettable character." --Starred, Kirkus Reviews
"This introspective, somewhat magical story is perfect for all children who wonder about their place in the universe." --Starred, School Library Journal
"Rhythmic and beautiful." --Boxed review, Booklist