Winner of the Sheila A. Egoff Children's Literature Prize and the TD CCBC Canadian Children's Literature Award
Kip is spending the summer with his grandmother and his five eccentric girl cousins, including Emily, who thinks she's a dog. Gran's house is about to be demolished, so anything goes, whether it's drawing maps on the walls or sawing off the knob at the bottom of the banister for a smoother ride.
When Kip bashes through an old closet, he discovers the binder his late father kept as a teenager. He's bewildered by what he finds: puzzling lists, hair samples, old newspaper clippings and business cards -- all accompanying a confidential report written by a mysterious young operative who is carrying out a secret plan to infect teenagers with a cell-altering virus.
This wonderful novel has all the Sarah Ellis hallmarks -- quirky characters, insight and wit -- underpinned by resonant themes of family, memory and the creative imagination.
Quirky characters and a solid plot make for an engaging read.
Odd Man Out is beautifully written: clever, funny, and hauntingly sad. Ellis has a sure hand at dialogue, bringing to life each cousin's eccentricity and Gran's warmth.
The strength of this novel rests not only in the intriguing plot, but also with Ellis's amazing ability to bring her characters to life....all of the characters stay alive in the readers mind far after the book is finished.
Ellis creates with splendid and inviting detail a chaotic houseful of happy relatives who treat the old house as a big toy because of its forthcoming demolition...this is a determinedly individual and warmly affectionate family story about a boy who finds strength in new understanding of both the present and the past.
Kip...is an engaging protagonist, and his search for the truth is suspenseful enough to hold readers' attention.
Ellis's language is restrained but rich, and she brings readers directly into Kip's world, never wavering from his sensitive point of view; and Kip's gradual understanding of his father's mental illness is affecting. The characterization is vivid...
This is a thoughtful and often funny book of a boy on the verge of adolescence challenged to think...in a different way.
Ellis...offers an insightful character study in this novel....the themes of growing up, accepting change, and finding out where one belongs make it a universally appealing work that teens will enjoy...
Ellis's restrained but rich language and vivid characterizations bring readers directly into Kip's world.
This is another superb novel by Sarah Ellis. Odd Man Out is a multifaceted story of imagination, suspense, family, fun, and even fear...without a doubt, Odd Man Out deserves a spot on every library and classroom shelf. Highly recommended.
Odd Man Out is a mystery novel full of thoughtfulness and humour.