A funny, honest, and unforgettable portrait of a boy struggling to understand his grandfather's debilitating Alzheimer's disease and graduate to a more sympathetic and accepting relationship with his beloved grandfather.
Life hasn't been the same for Jake Moon since his grandfather, Skelly, got Alzheimer's disease. At first Jake thought, no big deal, it was just a disease that made old people forget where they put their car keys. But he was wrong. It is a big deal. A very big deal.
For one thing, he can't invite friends over because Skelly might do something embarrassing like tell them to zipper their "briskets," or Jake might reach into the freezer for a can of frozen orange juice and find Skelly's frozen pajamas there instead. He used to love spending time with his grandfather...but now he is mostly stuck fastening the Velcro on Skelly's sneakers, or wiping rice off his chin. It's like all of a sudden he's the grown-up, and Skelly's the kid. How can the one person Jake could always count on be fading as fast as -- well, as the moon.
Barbara Park, one of today's most popular and versatile authors, has created a funny, honest, and unforgettable portrait of a boy struggling to understand this debilitating disease and graduate to a more sympathetic and accepting relationship with his beloved grandfather.
Chapter 1: The Twist
There are these three eighth-grade boys. They've just gotten out of school for the day. And they're about to take off in different directions, when they notice something going on in the trash Dumpster at the other end of the parking lot.
They're still pretty far away from it, but they can see an old man sitting on the edge of the thing. His back is facing them, and he's just sort of balancing himself there. Staring down into the bottom of the Dumpster.
The boys watch him for a second. And then one of them starts grinning. And he cups his hands around his mouth and shouts out, "Hey! Don't jump, Pops! You've got everything to live for!"
Then one of the other boys yells, "Yeah! Plus I heard the food is much better at the Dumpster up the street!"
So after that, both kids totally crack up. And it becomes this contest, sort of, to see who can holler out the funniest insults at the old guy.
Like the first kid asks the old man if he went to P.U. ...
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No Man's Land
by Simon Tolkien
Inspired by the experiences of his grandfather, J. R. R. Tolkien, during World War I.
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