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Dillon Dillon

by Kate Banks

Published by Frances Foster Books / Farrar, Straus, Giroux, 2002
150 pages
ISBN: 0-374-31786-0

Ages 8 - 11

Young Dillon has wondered but never inquired why he has the same first and last names. Like most children who simply know without ever asking that they're unconditionally loved within their family, Dillon has lived from year to year on assumptions he's never thought to question. It occurs to him to wonder out loud about his name during the family observance of his birthday. Along with shocking new information about himself, Dillon receives wonderful birthday gifts. He uses one of these, a red rowboat, to travel to a nearby island, where this curious boy discovers a pair of nesting loons. He's unable to "shake the feeling that something was happening to him. Something deep within, undetectable to the naked eye." Banks has the rare gift of writing about a child's thoughts while at the same time creating memorable characters, interspersing sly humor, and staging a devastatingly tragic event. Her slim novel is so easy for children to read that it's startling to realize how seamlessly she's interlaced depths of meaning within Dillon's story. Every word matters. Every chapter offers multiple insights undetectable at first, just below the surface. Everything comes full circle, kind of like a boomerang. With this startling, sensitive, lyrical first novel, Kate Banks extends her reputation as one of today's finest writers for children. CCBC categories: Fiction For Children.  © Cooperative Children's Book Center

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