Recommended Age, Grade, and Reading Levels
- Age: 13 to 18
- Grade: 8 to 12
Avalon Monday doesn't mind telling schoolmates that her mother ran off to California to live with a guy she met on the internet. After all, that's way less embarrassing than the truth.
One fresh start and three years later Avalon discovers there are things you can never truly leave behind. When the past collides with the present it exposes her secret and threatens to leave her new life in ruins.
About the authors
Pamela MacDonald authored the voice of Avalon in this story. A Licensed Psychologist, Finding Avalon is Pamela's first novel. She lives in Miramichi, New Brunswick with her husband Albert and their two sons, Matthew and Andrew.
Valerie Sherrard first decided to become an author when she was in grade six! Her homeroom teacher that year, Mr. Alf Lower, praised and encouraged her efforts and instilled in her a lifelong belief in her ability to write. After producing about a dozen books for teens, Sherrard turned her hand to picture books. There’s a COW Under My Bed! introduces Oscar Ollie Brown, who will be embarking on his second adventure in There’s a Goldfish in my Shoe! in the fall of 2009. Since becoming a published author, Sherrard has enjoyed visiting many classrooms and libraries to speak to young people about writing, literacy, and most of all, finding and following your dreams. Born in Moose Jaw, Saskatchewan, Valerie has spent time in a number of provinces, including her current home of New Brunswick. She lives in Miramichi with her husband Brent and their four cats: Lilly, Thragg, Patootie and Cody.
Excerpt: Finding Avalon (by (author) Pamela MacDonald & Valerie Sherrard)
Then, out of the corner of my eye, I notice an envelope that is addressed to me, which is odd. I never get mail. The flash of excitement disappears, though, when I see the return address.
I sit, frozen and immobile, while the seconds tick by. I don't know what I'm thinking, or even if I am thinking. And I don't understand the jumble of feelings inside me. My mind is racing too fast to form actual thoughts, but at the same time, I'm oddly numb. Almost indifferent. I should definitely be feeling something stronger.
I'm curious about what the letter says, but I don't reach for it. I just keep staring. I'm not sure what else to do. I could open it, but I don't want to. Not yet.
I scrape what's left of my half-eaten dinner into Winston's bowl, then rinse the plastic container and toss it into the recycling bin. Finally, I pick up the envelope and head upstairs to my room.
For a few moments, I sit at my desk, just staring at the envelope.
"I'm not reading it," I say angrily to the empty room. To prove I mean it, I grab the letter and drop it into the garbage.
Now maybe I can get some homework done. I dig out my notebook, flip it open and scan through my assignment notes. When I get to the bottom of the page, I realize I have no idea what I've just read.
The problem, of course, is the letter. I can't pull my attention away from it. Until I read it, I won't be able to put it behind me. So I dig the envelope out of the trash and slide my thumb in at the corner, breaking the seal and tearing the flap open. There is a strange, tense feeling in my stomach. I can't quite tell whether it's nervousness, or anger, or something else I can't identify.
When I pull the folded pages out of the envelope, an urge flashes through my brain to tear them into tiny confetti-sized pieces. That way I would never have to know what they said. Then again, that might stress me out even more than reading it. Not that it should, since the person who sent it is not in my life. And never will be again. The only unfortunate thing is that she was part of my life in the past. Although, not by choice.
You can't choose your mother.