Nancy Keane's Booktalks -- Quick and Simple
Hobbs, Valerie.
New York : Farrar Straus Giroux, 2005.
IL 5-8
ISBN 0374308470

(2 booktalks)

Click on the book to read Amazon reviews
Booktalk #1

Have any of you ever discovered something you didn’t really want to share with others – like your mom or your dad or even a friend – because you were afraid of what might happen next?  Well, that’s just what happens in Defiance, by Valerie Hobbs. 

Eleven-year-old Toby Steiner only wants to do the things all normal, healthy kids want to do.  He wants to race his bike down the hill.  He wants to go for hikes in the woods.  He wants to learn how to fish and how to swim.  He wants to have friends who don’t spend most of their days in a hospital.  Toby has cancer that is supposed to be in remission; it’s supposed to be going away.  So when he finds yet another lump in his right side – a lump about the size of a marble – he decides he’s not going to tell anybody about it this time.  He just isn’t.

If he tells anybody about it, they’ll make him go back to Children’s Hospital.  They’ll give him more CAT scans and more chemotherapy and more pills that will taste like poison and make him puke his guts out.  No, Toby is sick of being sick and he’s just not going to put up with anymore hospitals.  He’s going to be defiant. (Stella Michel,  Newbridge Rd. School Library)

Booktalk #2

Eleven-year-old Toby Steiner wants to do normal things on his vacation: he wants to hike and race his bike down the hill and learn to fish out on the lake. The last thing he wants is to return to the children's hospital where his painful cancer treatment finally ended. When Toby starts spending time with Pearl, a spunky old woman who lives on a nearby farm, and Blossom, her broken-down cow, he sees all the more reason to keep the new lump on his side a secret from his parents. From Pearl he discovers the beauty of poetry, and from Blossom he just might uncover the meaning of life.  (Rebecca Caudill Young Readers’ Book Award 2008)

SUBJECTS:     Death -- Fiction.
                        Hope -- Fiction.
                        Cancer -- Fiction.
                        Poets -- Fiction.
                        Cows -- Fiction.
                        Country life -- Fiction.
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