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list price: $9.95
edition:eBook
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published: Sep 2008
ISBN:9781554980437

The Saver

by Edeet Ravel

reviews: 2
0 of 5
0 ratings
rated!
rated!
list price: $9.95
edition:eBook
also available: Hardcover Paperback
published: Sep 2008
ISBN:9781554980437
Description

Seventeen-year-old Fern has not had many breaks in life. She struggles at school and lives with her mother in a roach-infested apartment. Then, suddenly, her mother has a heart attack and dies, and Fern is devastated. But she's a survivor, and she's not afraid of hard work. Sidestepping social services, she quits school and sets out to look after herself.

With a little luck and ingenuity and a lot of determination, she manages to live rent-free by becoming a janitor in a crummy apartment building. When she runs out of toothpaste she gets freebies from dentists' offices. Then she tries to juggle two other shift jobs, including one in a restaurant kitchen, so she has access to leftover food. But despite her resourcefulness and resolve, the exhaustion and stress eventually take their toll, until Fern discovers that she is not really on her own after all.

About the Author

Edeet Ravel’s young-adult novel Held was nominated for the CLA Young Adult Book Award and the Arthur Ellis Crime Award. Her YA novel The Saver has been adapted for film and received awards around the globe. Her acclaimed novels for adults have won the Hugh MacLennan Prize and the Jewish Book Award and have been nominated for the Governor General’s Award and the Giller Prize.

Edeet was born on an Israeli kibbutz and holds a PhD in Jewish Studies from McGill University. She taught for twenty years at McGill, Concordia University and John Abbott College.

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Recommended Age, Grade, and Reading Levels
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Editorial Reviews

Written as a series of letters to an imaginary friend on another planet, [The Saver is] a compelling story of determination and the will to survive.

— School Library Journal

[The protaganist's] determination to find a better place is both understandable and laudable...a strong and clever teenager.

— VOYA

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Canadian Children's  Book Centre
Librarian review

The Saver

Seventeen-year-old Fern returns home from school and discovers that her mother has been rushed to the hospital. She dies before Fern even has a chance to say goodbye. For a teen with a loving support network, this would be a devastating emotional experience. For Fern, who lives an existence of extreme isolation, this is a catastrophe of a different nature. She must find a way to survive; this means lying about her age and keeping her mother’s death a secret. Fern leaves school and finds jobs in an apartment building and a restaurant so that she won’t need to pay for rent or food. Her great desire is that all of her money will go towards savings, something she and her mother never had.

Fern’s story is told as a series of letters written to Xanoth, an alien character from a book she once read. These letters are written in a dispassionate style of storytelling that is often effective for difficult subjects like death but it is never an easy one to accomplish well. Yet Ravel succeeds in creating a wonderfully threedimensional character even while Fern’s thoughts and insights are understated and reserved. Sometimes Fern does share her loneliness and these instances are especially powerful because they occur rarely.

Fern is utterly believable and even though she is more marginalized than most young adult heroines, she is smart and easy to sympathize with. Ravel slowly introduces some stability and emotional support into Fern’s life and shows that she is too strong and adaptable to give in to despair.

Source: The Canadian Children's Bookcentre. Winter 2009. Volume 32 Number 1.

Canadian Children's  Book Centre
Librarian review

The Saver

After her mother dies, Fern manages to live rent-free by working as a janitor in a crummy apartment building and survives by other ingenious tactics. But despite her resourcefulness and resolve, exhaustion and stress take their toll, until Fern learns that she’s not on her own after all.

Source: The Canadian Children’s Book Centre. Best Books for Kids & Teens. 2009.

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