Being with Henry
Written by Martha Brooks
Publication Date March 01, 2002
The car lurches to a halt.The old man finally rolls down his window, studies Laker for one eternal moment while his daughter, behind the steering wheel, fumes and listens to the radio. Laker stands, shrunken and zipped and snapped and collared inside his damp, sweaty leather jacket, and then he hears this unexpected question: Do you do yard work?
Kicked out of his house, sleeping on the street, Laker Wyatt meets eighty-three-year-old Henry Olsen, a lonely widower with family troubles of his own -- a bossy daughter and a beautiful granddaughter, Charlene, with whom Henry admits he doesn't always get things right.
Eventually, Laker's stay with Henry leads him not only to the revelation of a long-kept secret, but to a deeper understanding of the mysteries and difficulties of love.
Winner of the McNally Robinson Book for Young People Award 1999
Winner of the Mr. Christie's Book Award 2000
Long-listed for the Ruth Schwartz Award 1999
Short-listed for the Governor General's Literary Awards: Text 2000
Martha Brooks is an award-winning novelist, playwright and jazz singer whose books have been published in Spain, Italy, Japan, Denmark, England, Germany and Australia, as well as in Canada and the United States. She is a three-time winner of the Canadian Library Association Young Adult Book of the Year, as well as the Ruth Schwartz Award, the Mr. Christie’s Book Award, the Governor General’s Award, and the Vicky Metcalf Award for her body of work. She lives in Winnipeg.
"...expands the horizons of the coming-of-age story...unrelenting in its emotional authenticity...[a] highly polished novel..." Quill & Quire, STARRED REVIEW
"...a highly readable and interesting book..." Resource Links
"...a moving story about families and belonging...beautifully told, with characters readers will believe in." Kliatt
"A crossover book, Being with Henry has a place in adult collections as well. Highly recommended." Canadian Children's Literature - CBRA
"a warm and compassionate story of relationships and need...about the mystery and the difficulty of love." Brandon Sun
"Brooks deals with universal adolescent themes of home, self and romance with a fresh hand, creating a memorable story that begs repeating." Kirkus Reviews
"The characters here are poignant and believable, and the writing is poetic and moving..." VOYA (Voice of Youth Advocates)
"Flavoured with compassion, bittersweet humour and Brooks' characteristically restrained poetic prose. The story moves inexorably towards a final, brilliant revelation." Toronto Star