Recommended Age, Grade, and Reading Levels
- Age: 12 to 18
- Grade: 7 to 12
Closing Down Heaven is on CCBC's Best Books for Kids & Teens and CanLit for Little Canadians? list of Exceptional Novels for Young Readers.
In this highly readable YA novel, sixteen-year-old Hunter propels himself out of this world and into the next after pushing his ultralight mountain bike beyond its limits. He arrives in what he understands to be heaven and is met by Archie, his celestial guide who tries to interpret for Hunter the rules of this rather confusing realm.
It's not long before Hunter meets Trinity, a girl he used to know in Grade 6, and from then on, his mission is to love and protect her from both herself and the nasty character she was involved with before she died of a drug overdose. As part of this mission, Hunter is able to take advantage of a new policy in heaven that allows some recently deceased to return and pick up their lives again. In this way, Hunter tries to prevent the death of Trinity — but it doesn't work. Complications multiply until both Hunter and Trinity find a redemptive path which gives them both back their real lives and new opportunities.
Lesley Choyce has woven a sometimes comic, sometimes moving narrative, focusing on the kinds of mixed-up teens he seems to know so well. In the end love conquers almost everything, but the twists and turns are engaging and illuminating, as Hunter and Trinity find their way to happiness.
About the author
No one has a clearer view of Atlantic Canada's literary endeavours over the past twenty years than Lesley Choyce. He is the founder of the literary journal Pottersfield Portfolio, and the publisher of Pottersfield Press. He has edited several fiction anthologies and has been the in-house editor of many books from Pottersfield Press including Making Waves, a collection of stories by emerging authors from Atlantic Canada. He is the author of more than fifty books in genres ranging from poetry and essays to autobiography, history and fiction for adults, young adults, and children. Among his recent books are the novels The Republic of Nothing, World Enough, and Cold Clear Morning, and the story collection Dance the Rocks Ashore. Choyce is the writer, host, and co-producer of the popular literary show television program, Off the Page with Lesley Choyce, which is broadcast across the country on Vision TV. He also teaches in the English department of Dalhousie University in Halifax and is leader of the rock band The Surf Poets.
Other titles by Lesley Choyce
High Water Mark
Stories from Atlantic Canada 1983-2023
Around England with a Dog
Face the Music
Down Home for Christmas - Holiday Stories from Atlantic Canada
The Amazing History of a Coastal Village, Second Edition
The Trouble With Everything
The Rules Have Changed
Nova Scotia: Shaped by the Sea
A Living History
In Praise of Small Mistakes
Notes on Everything Under the Nova Scotia Sun