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Finn's Going by Tom Kelly
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Finn's Going (original 2007; edition 2007)

by Tom Kelly

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725166,644 (3.78)6
Member:fountainoverflows
Title:Finn's Going
Authors:Tom Kelly
Info:HarperCollins Canada / Other (2007), Hardcover, 278 pages
Collections:Read but unowned
Rating:***
Tags:Children's Literature, Death, Grief

Work details

Finn's Going by Tom Kelly (2007)

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» See also 6 mentions

Showing 5 of 5
Spoiler Alert

This is a very literary--too literary, I think, for the target audience--work focusing on sibling grief: one brother's feeling of responsibility for the accidental drowning death of his identical twin, Finn. Not much happens for probably the first 100-150 pages. The first person, rather random (and sometimes highly metaphorical) narration by protagonist Danny, is difficult to penetrate--even for an adult. There are lists, odd footnotes, and acronyms added into the mix. I can't see the kids I know persisting with this book. Furthermore, the very British idiom creates a further barrier for young Canadian and American readers. This is a quality work, but not a sufficiently accessible one. The many references to farts and excretory processes/products seems a bit too studied and forced--the author's effort at realism or an attempt to leaven otherwise quite somber material? ( )
  fountainoverflows | Jan 31, 2013 |
This is a great book that deserves a much larger readership than it has. It's told with the right amount of emotion for the story of a young boy dealing with bereavement; but is balanced out with childish wit and philosophy that makes it believable.
Some of the symbolism could seem a little self-concious in places, but this somehow just adds to the story's charm, and Danny's character. Kelly has characterised his narrator brilliantly, giving real insight into the ten-year-old's mindset and creating a genuine and likable character.
The short, digressive chapters make the book simple and quick to read, but a wholly fulfilling one, provided you don't mind a few fart jokes. ( )
  HatsForMice | Jan 5, 2010 |
I gave this book 3.5 stars out of 5 because it is good but not great (or even fabulous). Though it was an interesting read, it was not my kind of book. The manner in which the story is told, with headings at the tops of the pages and the flipping from past to present is a little distracting. The book itself is seperated into 3 main parts: thinking, doing and going - all of which make more sense when you read the book. Although this book features two 10 year old boys, it isn't necessarily suitable for all 10 year old boys as it contains some lessons in self awareness that might be too deep for some younger readers. As a first book, this one is worth reading but only once. ( )
  cvosshans | Nov 30, 2009 |
This is the same book as Finn's Going.

This book is one of the best I have read this year (and I have read a lot of books this year!). The protagonist and narrator is a 10 year old struggling over the events surrounding his twin brother's "going" (I won't say more to avoid spoilers). But what makes this book so special is the way the author really gets in the head of a 10 year old. This book really reminds you of what it was like to think like a 10 year old.

On top of that it is a very good bit of writing. Not that it is uniquely good, but it is a first novel, and based on the calibre of this writing I cannot wait to read his second.

This book deserves to be a classic. It deserves to be much better known than it is now. You won't regret reading it. ( )
1 vote sirfurboy | Apr 23, 2009 |
This book is one of the best I have read this year (and I have read a lot of books this year!). The protagonist and narrator is a 10 year old struggling over the events surrounding his twin brother's "going" (I won't say more to avoid spoilers). But what makes this book so special is the way the author really gets in the head of a 10 year old. This book really reminds you of what it was like to think like a 10 year old.

On top of that it is a very good bit of writing. Not that it is uniquely good, but it is a first novel, and based on the calibre of this writing I cannot wait to read his second.

This book deserves to be a classic. It deserves to be much better known than it is now. You won't regret reading it. ( )
  sirfurboy | Apr 23, 2009 |
Showing 5 of 5
Grade 5–8—After the death of his identical twin brother, 10-year-old Danny runs away because he believes he reminds his distraught parents of the tragedy. The book is divided into three parts: "Thinking," "Doing," and "Being," with each one reflecting a different stage of grief. "Thinking" details Danny's tumultuous feelings as he leaves his house, makes his way to the train station, and travels to an island where the family once vacationed. In "Doing," he becomes consumed with the act of stacking discarded bricks on the beach and befriends a man who suffered a similar loss. Finally, in "Being," the boy stops blaming himself for his brother's death and returns home. The full story of Finn's death is not revealed until the end, but hints dropped along the way pique readers' curiosity. The protagonist's voice is authentically childlike, as seen in the amusing vignettes of his family history, but also descriptive, using frequent metaphors to convey his unique point of view. Despite his running away, Danny's love for his family is tangible, making his full-circle journey and ultimate reunion all the more poignant.—Emily Rodriguez, Alachua County Library District, Gainesville, FL
added by cvosshans | editAmazon, School Libary Journal
 
*Starred Review* "Danny or Finn?" It's a familiar question at school, around town, and even at home, because Danny and Finn are identical twins. The question takes on metaphorical dimensions in this haunting story, in which the death of one twin leaves the other behind. For the survivor, now 10, the world has become wobbly and unsafe. He runs away from home, trying to remove the painful reminder his face bears for others: "I couldn't stand seeing them forget for a second, then remembering as soon as they saw me over and over and over." He journeys to the island where his family, his whole family, last vacationed together, and there he looks for a way to make sense of his guilt and grief and to come to terms with who he is and who he isn't. Immersing readers in an idiosyncratic point of view through British slang and narrative quirks (such as lists and footnotes),first-time novelist Kelly, an American who lives in England, pens a powerful novel about moving on, about being yourself no matter how hard, from the realistic perspective of a smart, funny kid who is just waking up to the larger world. Though sad, this is an ultimately life-affirming book, full of poignant insights into how people try to protect themselves and each other from tragedy, and how they cope when they fail. Krista Hutley
added by cvosshans | editAmazon, Booklist
 
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Epigraph
'I learn by going where I have to go' -Roethke
Dedication
First words
I didn't want to put a brick with three holes in it through old Grundy's window.
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Book description
Danny and Finn are identical twins and the best of friends. All that is about to change... A boy runs away to overcome his grief at the death of his twin brother.
Haiku summary

Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0061214531, Hardcover)

Take Finn. He may be the burping champion of the universe. He may be the demon farter of the planet—capable of mind-boggling impressions (a hissing cat, a creaking door in a haunted house, a boiling egg). Or not.

Take Danny. He may be the burping champion of the universe. He may be the demon farter of the planet—capable of mind-boggling impressions (a hissing cat, a creaking door in a haunted house, a boiling egg). Or not.

Danny and Finn. Identical twins. Best friends. Big brothers to Angela. Playing with Donut the dog. Sons of Mum and Dad. Living together in a house on Holt Street. Happy.

All of that is about to change.

(retrieved from Amazon Mon, 30 Sep 2013 13:19:44 -0400)

(see all 3 descriptions)

A ten-year-old English boy decides to run away after the sadness at home becomes unbearable following the death of his twin brother.

(summary from another edition)

» see all 4 descriptions

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