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» » Backwater

Backwater by Joan Bauer

Joan Bauer
Size fb2:
1623 kb
Size epub:
1140 kb
Speak; Reprint edition (June 2, 2005)
192 pages
Other formats:
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Teen & Young Adult
Literature & Fiction

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Ivy doesn't want to be a lawyer. Who cares? Well, her father, for starters, who expects his daughter to take up the Breedlove family profession with dedication and enthusiasm. But Ivy wants to be a historian, a vocation that's getting quite a workout as she prepares a family history in honor of her beloved great-aunt Tib's eightieth birthday. This undertaking takes Ivy on a great journey, as she hikes into the wilds of the Adirondacks to find her reclusive aunt Jo -- and her own destiny.
  • Erennge
Joan Bauer is so successful writing books that touch the hearts of readers, providing characters facing situations common to most, and generally offering encouragement to those dealing with similar things. In Backwater, Ivy has an overbearing family with very clear expectations for her future, but becoming a lawyer is a long way from the historian she yearns to be. Ivy tends to hang back and simply hope that conflicts both large and small will resolve themselves. But as she attempts to fulfill Aunt Tibs’ birthday request for a complete family history, Ivy branches out on her own in order to find a missing family member. That search sends her on a treacherous hike up a wintery mountain in an experience that proves to be emotionally and physically more than anything she has ever done. Readers in grades 6-8 will enjoy some family drama, the backpacking adventure, and a bit of romance. Neither caregivers or librarians will have reason to be concerned about any of this book’s content. Solid, early offering from Bauer, but not the powerful emotional hit that I generally experience when I read her works.
  • Quashant
I am working my way through all of Joan Bauer's books and I love this one, too! The young Ivy Breedlove is a wonderful character, but it's her Aunt Jo that I'll remember long after I've closed the book. Aunt Jo is eccentric but very real and very memorable as is Mountain Mama. One of the things I also love about Ms. Bauer's books is that the reader learns something along the way: anything from shoes to pumpkins or, in this case, a wintry mountainous trek through the Adirondacks.
  • Maridor
This book is a required item for my child's school. The package arrived promptly and in brand new condition. Furthermore, the cost was less than the school bookstore. Only gave 4 stars because my son did not necessarily like the book - it was required summer reading.
  • Tholmeena
I am a big fan of Joan Bauer books, but I enjoyed this more than any other. It may have been the subject.
  • Just_paw
Serendipity! A colleague was downsizing her bookshelf and gave me this book. I was instantly drawn into the "family historian" side of Ivy Breedlove's character and her challenge to write a history of the Breedlove family. Ivy's descriptions of research and writing quickly took a backseat though to her newly found quest to find her Aunt Jo who had quietly cut ties with the Breedlove family years ago. Ivy's journey leads her not only to finding Jo but to deepening her understanding of her father as well. I love the adventure, the discovery and healing told through this story.
  • White_Nigga
Ivy Breedlove is sixteen and she has made up her mind that she will become a historian, despite what her family wants. The Breedloves have been lawyers for generations. Only one aunt broke the mold, that aunt knew, like Ivy, that she couldn't become a lawyer, and she knew it wasn't fair of her family to force her to do so. Backwater teaches lessons, about family, history, life, and expectations. Backwater is also really exciting and suspenseful. All the characters in Backwater, are realistic and each have unique traits that make the book more interesting.

Ivy feels no one in her family understands her, and she may be right, her family is full of characters, but none quite understand her. Her father, a lawyer with an ego, strongly believes, and preaches that law is the only acceptable profession. His brother Archie is also a lawyer, and they enjoy debating which of them is the best. Neither Ivy's father nor his brother have any interest in history, but Fiona, Archie's wife is the worst. She thinks that history is a waste of time, and that family histories should be short, videotaped, and unhistorical. Ivy's cousins are no different; they all want to be lawyers and couldn't care less about the past. Ivy feels quite alone and misunderstood, even her best friend thinks history is a waste of time. One day over Christmas break, Ivy is doing research in the family graveyard and notice wreaths on the Breedlove family graves. An old family friend tells Ivy it was her aunt that decorated the graves. Ivy knows what she has to do.

Ivy is going on a hunt, a suspenseful quest. She must find her aunt. One suspenseful part was when Ivy consults the town records. Ivy flips through the names to "B", the aunt she is looking for is not registered. But "Backwater" catches her eye because it is an old family saying. The address is in the mountains and because of the snow, the difficult hike, and the wild animals, Ivy will need a guide to find the aunt she's never met. She does all to complete the family history. The guide, Mountain Mama, plans on writing a book about her adventurous hikes. Mountain Mama never yet had lost a hiker and didn't plan to lose one now. Ivy began her hike she meets another hiker, Jack, who is training to become a park ranger. When Mountain Mama and Ivy finally reach Ivy's aunt, Mountain Mama goes off hiking and plans to return two days latter to pick Ivy up. Perhaps the most exciting part was when Ivy meets her aunt Josephine who is a hermit, she lives alone because that's how she likes it. She cares for birds that are injured or sick, she has a pet wolf that was raised in captivity and couldn't be returned to the wild. Every six months she hikes down for supplies and food. She changed her last name to Backwater when she moved because of the way her family treated her.

Ivy learns a lot from her aunt. She learns to enjoy nature. She learns that her father is a very kind man, and that he enjoys law because he likes protecting the innocent. She learns he loves to fish. One night during a fierce blizzard a tree falls on Josephine's cabin, it goes through the roof and crushes Josephine's leg! Ivy uses a first aid book and learns the wound must be treated in a hospital because it can be fatal. Ivy learns a lot about herself while crossing the frozen lake while pulling her aunt on a sleigh. The ice begins to crack, and she learns a lot about bravery. Jack the park ranger in training and Mountain Mama help her from the shore, but all they can do is offer reassurance.

A helicopter comes to rescue Josephine and Ivy, who becomes unconscious. They are both in the hospital, but both come out alive. Over a school break some of Ivy's cousins, aunts, and uncles, Ivy, and Ivy's dad go up to help Josephine rebuild her cabin. Ivy learns a lot of lessons about herself, her family, and history. She goes through some suspenseful parts and meets some interesting characters, in addition to those in her own family. Ivy is very glad to have met Josephine and now knows she can be different then her family. She ends up falling in love with Jack the park ranger in training. Over all it was okay, but a little to unrealistic. I recommend this book to boys or girls, looking for a quick read. Backwater would be best for ages 13-15.