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Inside Grandad by Peter Dickinson

Inside Grandad (2004)

by Peter Dickinson

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If I were ever a writer, I'd want to be like P.D. Each story is different from every other (no lazy series!) with it's own wisdom and charm. I really liked how realistic the characters were - no cardboard role-fillers, even if they're mentioned for one paragraph they're clearly real people with loves and fears and dreams of their own. ( )
  Cheryl_in_CC_NV | Apr 14, 2015 |
This is an enchanting short work by one of the main stays of UK Children's fiction.

Gavin and his grandfather are putting together a beautiful model boat that will be for the boy's 11th birthday. Asked what he will call the boat, Gavin suggests "Selkie" - they were fishing and saw a seal, so Grandad had been talking about Selkies. And then, out of the blue, grandad collapses witha major stroke.

The rest of the book describes Gavin's journey to help his grandfather overcome the stroke and return to him, with just a little help from the Selkie.

This is a moving tale sensitively written. There is a hint of magic here - just enough to enchant. I was put in mind of Skellig by David Almond as I was reading, although one tale does not borrow from the other - they are both their own stories.

This book is worth reading. Peter Dickinson does not do fairy tale endings, but this book is a positive one - and ultimately it is more about Gavin than grandad. Something of a coming of age tale, and a recommended read. ( )
  sirfurboy | Jul 9, 2009 |
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Originally published in the UK as The Gift Boat, and in the USA as Inside Grandad.
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0385746415, Hardcover)

An unusual and moving story about the magical bond between a boy and his grandfather.

Does it just happen that Gavin and Grandad see the seal while they are fishing in the harbor? Just happen that Grandad talks about the selkies, the seal people who can leave the water and take human form? Just happen that Grandad is finishing the beautiful miniature boat he’s making for Gavin’s tenth birthday, and Gavin decides to call her Selkie? And at that moment, Grandad has his stroke. Could the selkies have something to do with all this?

Day after day at the hospital, Gavin tries to get through to helpless and speechless Grandad, trying to reach him, explain what’s happened to him. Everyone else has given up. But Gavin will try anything. Even asking the selkies to help. To do that, he must give them something to show them how much it matters. What is the dearest thing he owns?

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:16:35 -0400)

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Gavin tries to enlist the help of selkies--seal people--to communicate with his comatose grandfather.

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