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Fletcher, Ralph J. 
New York : Henry Holt, 2001.
IL 5-8, RL 5.9
ISBN 0805066632

(3 booktalks)

Booktalk #1

Imagine the issues surrounding the discovery of an adoptee’s biological parent. The surging emotions of joy, fear, and guilt would leave any adult in a confused state. River too goes thru these emotions but without the maturity of the adult. Uncle Daddy deals unusually with the return of a father that has been absent for six years. During these intervening years, River has had the strong, mature guidance of a great uncle. Now during a crisis, the natural father displays his new strengths to support the family and gains new emotional connections. The result is a new, stronger, blended family.

Edith Ley for The South Carolina Children's Book Award nominees 2005

Booktalk #2

Can broken hearts be mended?  Maybe, maybe not.  Nine-year-old Rivers isn't sure.  Once he would have said “No, way!”  There was no way that he would ever let his father back into his life.  Not after the way his father abandoned Rivers and his mother.  One night when Rivers was three, he went out for pizza and never came back.  Never a phone call, never a letter—nothing.  He just disappeared.  Besides, Rivers has Uncle Daddy.  Uncle Daddy is really his mother's uncle, but to Rivers he is the only father a boy could ever need.  Nothing could ever change that.  Or could it?  Can broken hearts be mended?  When Uncle Daddy has a heart attack, Rivers prays that they can be.  What about River’s heart?  Can it be mended? (Alice Brice., Media Specialist, Baron DeKalb Elementary School, Camden, SC)

Booktalk #3

Is there enough love in a nine-year-old boy’s heart for two fathers?  In Uncle Daddy, Rivers is forced to find out the answer to this question when his absentee real dad returns after being missing for six years.  His father went out to get pizza one night, but didn't come back.  He didn't even bother to call or send a note.  Rivers doesn't even recognize his real father when he shows up at his own front door.  Uncle Daddy is the only man Rivers has known as his dad and the only one he remembers taking care of him.  Uncle Daddy is really his mother's uncle, but he moved in to help out after his real dad skipped out.  Uncle Daddy has been a wonderful parent to Rivers.

Now, what will happen?  Rivers is confused and angry.  Can he forgive his real dad and accept him back into his life?  If he does, what will happen to Uncle Daddy?  Find out by reading Uncle Daddy.  (Carolyn Davis,, Sedgefield Intermediate Media Specialist, Berkeley County)

SUBJECTS:   Fathers and sons -- Fiction.
                        Great-uncles -- Fiction.
                        Family problems -- Fiction.
                        Drug abuse -- Fiction.


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