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2015 Nominee
Voted 2 out of 20

Driftwood

By Valerie Sherrard. Published in 2013 by Fitzhenry & Whiteside

New middle-grade fiction from the award-winning author of The Glory Wind
Adam’s summer is off to a disappointing start. His so-called “best friend” has bailed on him, choosing to stay behind to care for a sick dog, instead of joining Adam and his family at the seaside campground as planned. Adam is furious with Billy for abandoning him, impatient with his mother for her artistic obsessions, and embarrassed by his dad’s lame attempts at being funny. At least an ever-changing cast of new summer friends proves to be an entertaining distraction: Joey, the shoe-thief with the cute sister; the mischievous Linden twins; enigmatic Nevin; and Ethan, the adventurer. But it is Theo, the blind gentleman up on the hill, with his magical stories of driftwood, who helps Adam to see the true nature of friendship — and forgiveness.

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7 thoughts on “Driftwood

  1. Alice Jamieson Girls' Academy

    This book was great for Grade 4 and 5. It was a fun way of learning the lesson to not doubt your friends.

    Reply
  2. Hillhurst School

    Adam was truly looking forward to his summer at Schooner Point until his best friend Billy chose to stay home to take care of his sick dog over spending a summer with Adam. As Adam arrived at Schooner Point he made good friends with the others, Joey, Makyala, Mackenzie and Ethan. But it is Theo, the blind man up the hill with his magical stories about driftwood who helps Adam find the true path to forgiving his best friend, Billy.

    Each of Theo’s stories teaches a life lesson and all these life lessons are used in different situations, some of them are used at the age of a child, some at adult and some are used in both. But the real reason to read this book is because it shows you what to do is right and what is wrong. If you do read this book you don’t just read it for fun you have to remember these stories so you don’t end up making the mistakes that the characters in the story did.

    As I said before these books aren’t just a read through then forget, all if Theo’s stories must be remembered in your mind. Without remembering these stories there is high chance that you will make the same mistake as the character because you don’t know how bad the consequences can be. If you do make the mistake it will take time to gain back what you have lost and think about it, if you didn’t make that mistake all that time that you would be spending gaining back what you lost could be used for doing more, improving yourself and finding more ways to make other people more secure with you. So don’t make that mistake, reading this book will help you find the right and the wrong.

    As an example one of the stories that Theo tells is the gold and the fish story. In this story there is a little girl who lives a poor village taken over by the big city but this little girl didn’t let this happen she gave her word that someday she would free her village and that someday did come because while she was out in the river she found a fish and she would’ve killed that fish for food but fish said “If you let me live I will bring you back a gold coin every day” and from that day on the fish did bring gold very morning. After receiving all the gold that little girl freed her village and they all lived happily ever after. This story tells us that the fish kept his promise and if the fish didn’t keep his promise then the girl would have never trusted him again and fish would have had to spend the time gaining his trust back.

    All of Theo’s stories are teaching an important life lesson and I recommend that you read this book because you need life lessons and without life lessons none of would be where we are now. Without life lessons or even just normal lessons none of us would improve, without any of us improving the world would never expand to the amount of greatness it can hold. Everywhere you go you can always find improvement, there is nothing called perfect because you can always get better. With that said I do hope that you read the amazing, incredible, out of this world book, “Driftwood”.

    By Alice

    Reply
  3. Hillhurst School

    Book review:
    Driftwood, by Valerie Sherrad

    Driftwood is about a boy named Adam who is best friends with Billy. The boys have been planning a vacation with Adam’s mom and dad at Schooner Point, New Brunswick. On the day of the trip, Billy tells Adam that he can’t come on the trip because his dog is sick. Disappointed, Adam arrives at his family’s cabin, wanting to hate Billy. Throughout his trip, Adam meets many new friends: Joey, the mischievous kid whose first action is stealing Adam’s shoe, throwing it in the lake, and then hiding. Ethan, who convinces Adam to help him steal a boat, sinks it, and reveals that his dad is in jail and his mom is on the run. The Linden twins Mackenzie and Makayla, who invite Adam to host a hot dog party with them, where they prank Nevin, an older kid and teach Adam 100 factoids (an elbow licking contest, half a plastic worm in a hot dog, etcetera). But Theo, the blind man who tells the stories of the pieces of driftwood that he buys from people for 5 bucks, helps Adam the most, teaching him, as it says on the book jacket, “there’s more than one way to see a story.”

    I think this is a magnificent book because of how Valerie Sherrad, the author, incorporated Theo’s stories. I noticed that sometimes when Theo told a story, you could tie the story to the person/people who was listening. For instance, when Theo told the story of the mountain ash, I was able to link Kiah, a character in the story, to Ethan. Ethan lied to Adam before the story was told, about his parents being super busy so they couldn’t come. Kiah was given the title of secret keeper for those who would use the knowledge for good, but she wanted attention so she made up secrets (lied) and told them to everybody who asked. It made me wonder: is this just a coincidence, or does Theo know the connection? Does he make up the stories to teach a moral?

    If I had to evaluate this book, I would give it a 99.9/100 because of how Valerie used the concept “show don’t tell.” When she described how Billy and Adam went into the forest, I felt as if I was really there. The only reason I didn’t give her 100% was that I read through chapter 11, and I only noticed what had happened after I started chapter 12. Overall, this was the best book I’ve ever read, and I would recommend this book for those who love adventure, short stories, and characters with a unique personality.

    By Dexter

    Reply
  4. Hillhurst School

    Book Review
    In my opinion, Valerie Sherrard is a master of creating interesting, unique, and believable characters. Every single character in Driftwood is interesting to me.
    When Joey left, I couldn’t wait to find out what new characters would appear in the next chapter. Another extraordinary thing about the characters is that every character has a unique personality. For example, Billy, Adam, Joey, and Ethan are around the same age but each of them is totally different. Last but not least, all the characters are so real. For instance, I would think, feel, and act the same way as Adam if I were he.

    In conclusion, I enjoyed reading Driftwood so much that I would recommend the book to everyone.
    First of all, there are fantastic stories that are like pieces of cloth all woven together into beautiful quilts. Overlapped and combined, the stories took place not only by the seaside but it also involves different countries and times. You would find it hard to put down the book once you turned the first page.
    Second, as mentioned above, all the characters are full of life. You could learn a lesson from each of them if you were a reflective person.
    Last, the tone of the book is so warm, upbeat, humorous and inspiring that you would think life is great. In a word, I believe Driftwood by Valerie Sherrard is a remarkable gift to all readers!
    Sincerely,
    Ivy

    Reply
  5. Hillhurst School

    Book Review One
    In my opinion, Valerie Sherrard is a master of creating interesting, unique, and believable characters. Every single character in Driftwood is interesting to me.
    When Joey left, I couldn’t wait to find out what new characters would appear in the next chapter. Another extraordinary thing about the characters is that every character has a unique personality. For example, Billy, Adam, Joey, and Ethan are around the same age but each of them is totally different.
    In conclusion, I enjoyed reading Driftwood so much that I would recommend the book to everyone.
    First of all, there are fantastic stories that are like pieces of cloth all woven together into beautiful quilts. Overlapped and combined, the stories took place not only by the seaside but it also involves different countries and times. You would find it hard to put down the book once you turned the first page.
    Second, as mentioned above, all the characters are full of life. You could learn a lesson from each of them if you were a reflective person.
    Last, the tone of the book is so warm, upbeat, humorous and inspiring that you would think life is great. In a word, I believe Driftwood by Valerie Sherrard is a remarkable gift to all readers!
    Sincerely,
    Ivy

    Reply
  6. Hillhurst School

    Book review:
    Driftwood, by Valerie Sherrad

    Driftwood is about a boy named Adam who is best friends with Billy. The boys have been planning a vacation with Adam’s mom and dad at Schooner Point, New Brunswick. On the day of the trip, Billy tells Adam that he can’t come on the trip because his dog is sick. Disappointed, Adam arrives at his family’s cabin, wanting to hate Billy. Throughout his trip, Adam meets many new friends: Joey, the mischievous kid whose first action is stealing Adam’s shoe, throwing it in the lake, and then hiding. Ethan, who convinces Adam to help him steal a boat, sinks it, and reveals that his dad is in jail and his mom is on the run. The Linden twins Mackenzie and Makayla, who invite Adam to host a hot dog party with them, where they prank Nevin, an older kid and teach Adam 100 factoids (an elbow licking contest, half a plastic worm in a hot dog, etcetera). But Theo, the blind man who tells the stories of the pieces of driftwood that he buys from people for 5 bucks, helps Adam the most, teaching him, as it says on the book jacket, “there’s more than one way to see a story.”

    I think this is a magnificent book because of how Valerie Sherrad, the author, incorporated Theo’s stories. I noticed that sometimes when Theo told a story, you could tie the story to the person/people who was listening. For instance, when Theo told the story of the mountain ash, I was able to link Kiah, a character in the story, to Ethan. Ethan lied to Adam before the story was told, about his parents being super busy so they couldn’t come. Kiah was given the title of secret keeper for those who would use the knowledge for good, but she wanted attention so she made up secrets (lied) and told them to everybody who asked. It made me wonder: is this just a coincidence, or does Theo know the connection? Does he make up the stories to teach a moral?

    If I had to evaluate this book, I would give it a 99.9/100 because of how Valerie used the concept “show don’t tell.” When she described how Billy and Adam went into the forest, I felt as if I was really there. The only reason I didn’t give her 100% was that I read through chapter 11, and I only noticed what had happened after I started chapter 12. Overall, this was the best book I’ve ever read, and I would recommend this book for those who love adventure, short stories, and characters with a unique personality.

    Dexter

    Reply
  7. Hillhurst School

    Book review:
    Driftwood by Valerie Sherrard

    Driftwood is a story set by friendship. It’s about a boy named Adam. Adam has a friend named Billy and this summer him and his parents are going somewhere different, Schooler Point. This is exciting for Adam because he would usually be somewhere visiting his cousins some place. His parents told him that he could bring a friend, of course he chose Billy. Billy’s mom said yes, but one day before the trip Billy walks onto Adam’s front porch and said his mom changed her mind. Of course Adam was sad and soon discovered that it was Billy’s choice to come or not and he chose over his dog. (Because Billy’s dog was sick) Though when Adam went to Schooler Point he created new friends and one blind. This one blind was someone named Theo. Theo could tell amazing story’s with just a piece of driftwood. This is what changed Adam’s life.

    I selected Driftwood because it is a lesson for forgiving and friendship. This is because Adam had thought that he and Billy were never going to be friends again when at the end they were. This taught the lesson because all the stories that Theo told Adam related to friendship. I believe as Adam heard the stories that he was not thinking of Billy. Closer to the end though I think that he thought of Billy at the last two stories about driftwood.
    Driftwood also falls under a lesson of forgiving and friendship because as Adam was away at Schooler Point and Billy was at their home town taking care of his dog. With this time of Billy’s not going on vacation he must have thought over Adam. How different it would be if he came. With this thought in is head I still do believe that he would have stayed except if he didn’t and his dog died he would have probably felt worse about going. Also Adam came back with the driftwood that they used for Billy’s dog’s grave. If Billy did go the piece of driftwood may not have been found and this story would not tell forgiving and friendship.
    With this said I do recommend other’s to read this because it might be a new perspective in which you wouldn’t use. Another way to think over your friends and your friendship.

    Reply

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