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Red Kayak
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About the Author

Priscilla Cummings lives in Annapolis, Maryland.

Reviews

Gr 7 Up-Brady, J.T., and Digger are friends from working-class families who live along the Chesapeake Bay, where crabbing and oyster fishing are a way of life and an extra source of income. Their parents' resentment toward developers and rich summer families rubs off on J.T. and Digger but not Brady, who befriends the DiAngelos and their toddler, Ben. When Mrs. DiAngelo and Ben go out in their new kayak on a cold, foggy morning, it overturns. Brady joins the rescue team and finds Ben barely alive in the water but, despite his heroic efforts to save him, the two-year-old dies from hypothermia. Once it is apparent to Brady that J.T. and Digger may have sabotaged the kayak as a prank, he faces a gut-wrenching, moral decision to tell a truth that would betray his friends and reveal his own, indirect culpability. The first-person approach works well here, and Brady's 13-year-old voice is fresh and lighthearted at times and introspective and grief-stricken at others. Cummings has created a multifaceted story that is as much about the families and life in the Chesapeake as it is about a prank gone awry. Brady's bighearted cousin Carl, his supportive father, and the anguished Mrs. DiAngelo are particularly well-developed characters who are pivotal in Brady's understanding of the path he must choose. This well-crafted story will have broad appeal.-Vicki Reutter, Cazenovia High School, NY Copyright 2004 Reed Business Information.

"Cummings has created a multifaceted story that is as much about the families and life in the Chesapeake as it is about a prank gone awry. Brady's bighearted cousin Carl, his supportive father, and the anguished Mrs. DiAngelo are particularly well-developed characters who are pivotal in Brady's understanding of the path he must choose. This well-crafted story will have broad appeal."--School Library Journal

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