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Williwaw! by Tom Bodett
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Williwaw! (1999)

by Tom Bodett

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Showing 1-5 of 6 (next | show all)
Bodett's strength is his humor. This is written as a drama, lacking that wonderful slyness in all his previous books. I know he can manage it along with drama, as he did in Norman Tuttle. So I'm wondering why the miss.

I might be more forgiving if it were another, less talented author.
The story itself was interesting enough and the climax scene had me breathless with anxiety. ( )
  2wonderY | Sep 29, 2017 |
By the guy who does the Super 8 Motel commercials. Ivan and September are trusted by their father to stay home alone in their bayside home while he’s on a fishing trip in Dutch Harbor. They’ve been instructed not to sail to town and the specter of being sent to stay at their dreaded Aunt Nelda’s hangs over them. But when Ivan shorts the communication radios while playing his video games, he and September embark on a deepening trap of deception as they try to get the radios fixed before their father makes his weekly call. The culmination of all this is the severe storm they get caught in trying to sail home from town when they realize their father has returned from his trip. Interesting look at secluded life in Alaska.
  Salsabrarian | Feb 2, 2016 |
Fiction: Chapter Book
Bodett, Tom Williwaw! Knoff, 1999. 192p. Middle-school
Ivan and September, ages 12 and 13, are left at home in Steamer Cove, a remote place in coastal Alaska, while their father is on a fishing trip. They disobey their father’s orders and end up getting themselves in all sorts of problems culminating in getting caught out in their skiff in a williwaw (a sudden violent wind). This quick-paced tale is an emotional journey. Told in the third person point of view; the themes are self-sufficiency, courage, and family.
AK: Black bear, fishing, clamming, coastal Alaska life
Activity: Have they ever been out in rough seas? What was it like? What happened? ( )
  LoriOrtega | Jun 21, 2015 |
Bodett has really caught the brother/sister relationship here, great characterization. Several times he gives us entry into September's thoughts and then segues into her younger brother Ivan's thoughts--which are so different in mood. These kids, ages 12 & 13, have a strong sense of values (being truthful, responsible, hard-working)but reached a time when they chose to act against that. This book is the story of the escalating consequences.
I couldn't understand why September never went into the electronics repair shop with her brother, nor why the harbor master, who had years of experience, didn't try to keep them at the safe berth when he saw the storm coming. I'm glad that the reasoning behind the maxim "Red Sky at night, sailor's ..." was finally explained. ( )
  juniperSun | Mar 31, 2014 |
Very well written. Considering that you know what the most dramatic incident is going to be and what the outcome will be before you start the book, the author still manages to keep you guessing and interested. A morality play in which the kids sin against their parent and are forgiven. Redemption is beyond the scope of the book for the most part. A beautiful evocation of the remoter coast of Alaska. ( )
  baobab | Nov 10, 2010 |
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To Courtney With love, your dad
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Ivan Crane and his sister September stood on their dock in the early morning Alaska chill of Steamer Cove.
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0375806873, Paperback)

"Bodett, the genial voice in those Motel 6 commercials, offers a page-turner set in the wilds of Alaska, and he clearly knows the taste of sea and storm, the face of the landscape, and the sound of the loons and the scent of salmon. In this sentimental but rousing tale, September Crane, 13, and her 12-year-old brother, Ivan, are often left to themselves while their father fishes for their living. . . . Bodett interweaves the story of the williwaw, a wild storm that took their mother's life and family boat, with a spiraling series of bad choices. . . . Along the way, we learn about boat safety, respect for the sea, and self-sufficiency in a desolate but splendid place. . . . The weather's majesty and power are convincing, and the sister and brother are appealing characters . . . [with] very recognizable adolescent longings."
--Booklist

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:19:44 -0400)

(see all 3 descriptions)

In their father's absence, thirteen-year-old September and her younger brother Ivan disobey his orders by taking the boat out on their Alaska bay, where they are caught in a terrifying storm called a williwaw.

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