English / Canada

Nix minus one

MacLean, Jill (text)
Toronto: Pajama Press, 2013. – 287 p.
ISBN 978-1-927485-24-8

Siblings | Death | Grief | Self-confidence | Verse novel

Jill Maclean is a versatile and prolific author of books for adults. Lately, she has added four books for a younger audience to her output.

Her latest work is a moving, pain-filled verse novel starring fifteen-year-old Nixon Humboldt. Nix is a quiet, introvert young man who prefers reading and woodwork to interacting with people. He generally avoids trouble but thus also avoids fi ghting for what he believes in; until one day, when he falls in love with a mangy dog and decides to stand up to her abusive owner to save her life. Gradually, he opens up a little and finds new friends, but then his beloved older sister Roxy is killed in an accident and his parents are devastated and overwhelmed with grief. Peopled with believable characters and told in an authentic voice, the novel makes readers witness Nix’s struggle with his conflicting emotions and his (unfounded) guilt about his sister’s death. (Age: 14+)