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Henning Mankell is the prizewinning and internationally acclaimed author of novels for both adults and young people. His adult books dominate bestseller lists throughout Europe. Born in a village in northern Sweden, Mankell divides his time between Sweden and Africa, where he works with AIDS-related charities. He is also director of Teatro Avenida in Maputo, Mozambique. Mankell's companion novels about Joel and his father are A Bridge to the Stars, When the Snow Fell, and Journey to the End of the World.
Gr 6-8-Being run over by a bus and living to tell about it is the impetus that pushes young Joel Gustafson do a good deed. Only it doesn't turn out to be as easy as it seems. Anguished by the feeling that he needs to atone for his miraculous escape, he goes from friend to friend looking for ideas about just what his good deed should be. He settles on helping his friend Gertrud find a husband, which is a tall task since she is decidedly eccentric and missing a nose. Joel runs into many roadblocks while trying to enact his plan, testing both his determination and resourcefulness. Fans of Mankell's A Bridge to the Stars (Delacorte, 2007) will enjoy the reunion with Joel, his father, Sara, and Gertrud No-Nose. Others might be confused by larger-than-life characters in a very simple plot. They might also scratch their heads at the setting-a small town in Northern Sweden in 1957. Also, some of the translations seem more British than American, which could be confusing. This book will not appeal to a broad audience.-Nicki Clausen-Grace, Carillon Elementary School, Oviedo, FL Copyright 2008 Reed Business Information.