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Against the Odds

by Marjolijn Hof
Translated by Johanna H. Prins and Johanna W. Prins, from the Dutch

Published by Groundwood / House of Anansi Press, 2009
124 pages
ISBN: 978-0-88899-935-1

Ages 9 - 12

Kikiís father is a doctor who travels to countries in crisis, providing medical aid to people in need. Soon after he leaves on his most recent trip, Kikiís mother, in response to Kikiís worry, explains that the ďoddsĒ of something bad happening to Kikiís dad are small. Kiki begins fixating on the idea of odds: The odds may be small something will happen to her dad, but the odds of something happening to both her dad and her pet are even smaller. Kiki doesnít much like the family dog, so she would happily sacrifice Mona for her dadís safetyóbut what are the odds Mona will die? Everything escalates in Kikiís mindóand in reality when her dad does, indeed, disappear. Kikiís anxiety leads her to act out in ways that are once extraordinary and achingly believable in a story that acknowledges the dark thoughts of childhood with honesty. Author Marjolijn Hof maintains great tension and quiet drama before a resolution that offers relief and hope but is not unbelievably bright. CCBC Categories: Fiction for Children  © Cooperative Children's Book Center

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