Dual Citizens, Frying Plantain, and Small Game Hunting are on the Scotiabank Giller Prize longlist!

Groundwood Books

Clear Skies

Written by Jessica Scott Kerrin

For readers 8 - 11 years old | Published August 01, 2019 | ISBN 9781773062402
JUVENILE FICTION / Historical / Exploration & Discovery

Cover of Clear Skies

Regular price $16.95 CAD

144 pages | 7.5 in × 5 in
Print Format

Also Available as an Ebook

About this book

Clear Skies

Jessica Scott Kerrin

It is the summer of 1961, and eleven-year-old Arno Creelman wants nothing more than to be an astronomer. Fortunately, his struggle with claustrophobia has little impact on his one true passion. Unlike his annoying friend Buddy, who wants to become an astronaut and is not at all bothered by the idea of flying in a cramped space capsule, Arno dreams of exploring the galaxies with powerful telescopes back on Earth.

But first he has to enter a local radio contest and win a visit to the new observatory that is about to open near his town. The ribbon will be cut by Arno’s idol, Jean Slayter-Appleton, a renowned astronomer whose weekly columns he clips for his own notebooks. When he finally manages to phone in and correctly answer the skill-testing astronomy question, which earns him an invitation to the opening, Arno is thrilled.

Then a new boy moves to the neighborhood, and he seems to challenge Arno in every way. Robert even believes in astrology, which Arno argues is not a science at all.

Before long, Arno is feeling left behind, on the outs with his friends and even abandoned by his beloved dog, Comet. And when Robert informs him that he has already been to an observatory, and tells Arno what the experience is actually like, Arno’s dream becomes a cosmic nightmare.

About the Author

Jessica Scott Kerrin

Jessica Scott Kerrin is the author of The Things Owen Wrote, The Spotted Dog Last Seen (finalist for the Canadian Library Association Book of the Year for Children Award and the John Spray Mystery Award) and The Missing Dog Is Spotted. She is also the author of the picture book, The Better Tree Fort (illustrated by Qin Leng), and is known for the Lobster Chronicles series and the bestselling Martin Bridge series. Her novels have been translated into French, Turkish, Russian and Slovenian.? Born and raised in Alberta, Jessica now lives in Halifax, Nova Scotia.

Awards and Praise

Praise for Clear Skies:

“Clear Skies is a winning middle-grade novel which deals with both mental-health issues and the wonders of space exploration (along with a bit of 20th-century history) in an accessible, non-threatening manner.” — Quill & Quire

“A quiet reminder that the stars are not out of reach, with work and well-timed help.” — Kirkus Reviews

Reviews of Jessica’s other titles:

[star] “Kerrin understands this age group and creates a sympathetic protagonist who will draw in readers ... portraying authentic preteen feelings of self-doubt, self-consciousness, and even guilt....a well-told story of growth and self-forgiveness.” — School Library Journal on The Spotted Dog Last Seen, starred review

“...a gentle novel of love, loss, and self-fulfilment....A tender and affecting coming-of-age story.” — Kirkus Reviews on The Things Owen Wrote

“Kerrin writes with unusual perception about the emotional lives of young people.” — Booklist on The Missing Dog Is Spotted

“Kerrin is a fine writer and there’s hardly a wasted word. The book delves into some very weighty issues, including guilt, death, loss and anxiety, with a quiet, understated sympathy.” Atlantic News Today on The Spotted Dog Last Seen