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The Unmaking of Duncan Veerick [Hardcover]

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Item description for The Unmaking of Duncan Veerick by Betty Levin...

Reluctantly, thirteen-year-old Duncan helps his neighbor, a widow recovering from a stroke, hide valuable antiques and art objects her husband had collected, but when disaster strikes, his good deed gets him in a world of trouble.

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Item Specifications...

Pages   212
Est. Packaging Dimensions:   Length: 0.75" Width: 5.75" Height: 8.25"
Weight:   0.9 lbs.
Binding  Hardcover
Publisher   Front Street
ISBN  1932425969  
ISBN13  9781932425963  

Availability  0 units.

More About Betty Levin

Register your artisan biography and upload your photo! Betty Levin is the author of many popular books for young people, including The Banished; Look Back, Moss; Away to Me, Moss; Island Bound; Fire in the Wind; and The Trouble with Gramary. Betty Levin has a sheep farm in Lincoln, Massachusetts, where she also raises and trains sheepdogs. In Her Own Words...

"I started writing stories almost as soon as I began to read. They were derivative and predictable-as much a way of revisiting characters and places in books I loved as it was a means of self-expression. I don't remember when words and their use became important. In the beginning was the story, and for a long time it was all that mattered.

"Even though I always wrote, I imagined becoming an explorer or an animal trainer. This was long before I had to be gainfully employed. It wasn't until after I'd landed in the workplace, first in museum research and then in teaching, that I returned to story writing-this time for my young children. Then a fellowship in creative writing at the Bunting Institute of Radcliffe College gave me and my storymaking a chance. One affirmation led to another, and now there are books-and some readers.

"When I talk with children in schools and libraries, I realize that child readers are still out there. When they get excited about a character or a scene, a new dimension opens for them, a new way of seeing and feeling and understanding.

"Of course there is always one child who asks how it feels to be famous and to be recognized in supermarkets. I explain that the only people who recognize me are those who have seen me working my sheep dogs or selling my wool at sheep fairs. That response often prompts another query: Why write books if they don't make you rich and famous? I usually toss that question back at the children. Why do they invent stories? How does story writing make them feel?

"Eventually we explore the distinction between wanting to be a writer and needing to write. If we want to write, then we must and will. Whether or not we become published authors, we all have tales to tell and stories to share. Literature can only continue to grow from the roots of our collective experience if children understand that they are born creative and that all humans are myth users and storytellers."

Betty Levin currently resides in Lincoln, in the state of Massachusetts.

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Product Categories

1Books > Subjects > Children > Ages 9-12 > General
2Books > Subjects > Children > Animals > Dogs > Fiction
3Books > Subjects > Children > People & Places > Social Situations > Values > Fiction

Reviews - What do customers think about The Unmaking of Duncan Veerick?

Courtesy of Teens Read Too  Sep 23, 2007
Astrid Valentine was Duncan's neighbor, but he had mostly avoided her until that day when she hollered at Duncan and begged him to catch her little ratty dog for her. She was afraid he was going to get hit by a car. A few days later, he crawled through the doggy door in the back of the house, because Mrs. Valentine had locked herself out. Then she had a stroke, and Duncan's parents coerced him into feeding and watering the little dog, Mo, and letting him out into the back yard after school...just until Astrid was able to take care of him herself.

Duncan had no idea how complicated his life was about to become, because Astrid didn't bounce right back like Duncan thought she would. She was in the hospital for quite a while, and then when she did come home, she was still not able to take care of Mo, and Duncan agreed to keep doing it. Gradually, his feelings change for the crazy old lady, and he finds himself helping her more and more.

Mr. Valentine had been a junk dealer before he died, and the Valentine house was still literally a junkyard. There were some treasures in there, too, and Astrid's nephew, Eddie, is planning to sell off the collection. Duncan takes on the job of sorting the antiques, artifacts, and usable items from the huge shed at the back of the house. Then he discovers the mummy that is hidden in the basement.

Astrid begins to think that Eddie is stealing from her, and begs Duncan to help her hide some of her rare treasures, and that's when things start to go bad. Duncan hauls the mummy to the shed in back, buries some treasures, and takes some to his house to hide. Then there is a fire and the shed and mummy burn, and when the police enter the picture, everyone is looking at Duncan as a suspect in the thefts.

Betty Levin has created a compelling, sympathetic character in Duncan Veerick with a plot that is nonstop action. The suspense builds relentlessly right up to the ending in this novel that is a good choice for tweens that are looking for an exciting story.

Reviewed by: Grandma Bev

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