The Secret Life of Owen Skye

The Secret Life of Owen Skye

Alan Cumyn

Young Adult / Fantasy / Romance

Winner of the Mr. Christie's Book Award and the Hackmatack Children's Choice Book AwardOwen Skye is skinny and quiet and has big ears. He does everything (just about) his older brother, Andy, says, while trying to stay one step ahead of little brother Leonard, who has now started school and is becoming smart at an alarming pace. The Skye brothers live in a small rural village with their parents and weird Uncle Lorne, an eccentric and painfully shy bachelor who sleeps on a cot in the basement, takes out his teeth at night and embodies Owen's worst fears about becoming a grownup.On his way home from hockey practice one evening, Owen catches a glimpse of a girl named Sylvia at her piano lesson, and he falls hopelessly in love. Thank goodness for life at home, where there are brothers to talk to and plot adventures with. Yet the Skye boys somehow have a knack for turning every innocent plan into a full-scale ordeal.
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Hot Pterodactyl Boyfriend

Hot Pterodactyl Boyfriend

Alan Cumyn

Young Adult / Fantasy / Romance

Prepare to be blown away—or rather, carried away on huge muscular wings—by this blissfully outlandish, bracingly-smart, tour de force about a teen who has to come to terms with relinquishing control for the first time as she falls for the hot new...pterodactyl...at school. After all, everybody wants him!Sheils is very pleased with her perfectly controlled life (controlling others while she's at it). She's smart, powerful, the Student Body Chair, and she even has a loving boyfriend. What more could a girl ask for? But everything changes when the first-ever interspecies transfer student, a pterodactyl named Pyke, enrolls at her school. There's something about him—something primal—that causes the students to lose control whenever he's around. Even Sheils, the seemingly perfect self-confident girl that she is, can't keep her mind off of him, despite her doting boyfriend and despite the fact that Pyke immediately starts dating Jocelyn, the school's...
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After Sylvia

After Sylvia

Alan Cumyn

Young Adult / Fantasy / Romance

Nominated for the Canadian Library Association Book of the Year for Children Award and the TD Children's Literature AwardAs the new school year unfolds, the magic of the Skye brothers' antic adventures is replaced by a different kind of magic — of stillness, when Owen visits the haunted house in the dead of winter, and of insight, as he begins to see his father in a new light. Owen is growing up, but happily for readers, he never loses his most endearing qualities — his sweet vulnerability, his impulsive courage, and his imagination as big as the sky.The Secret Life of Owen Skye was a smash hit with readers, reviewers and award juries. In After Sylvia, Alan Cumyn has produced a captivating sequel that captures perfectly the bewilderment and joy of being a kid. A funny, poignant, magical book that will delight a broad range of readers.
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Burridge Unbound

Burridge Unbound

Alan Cumyn

Young Adult / Fantasy / Romance

Review“Burridge Unbound is a story about the fragility of life, life pushed to the edge. It is a brilliant depiction of a man at a precarious crossroads. The novel is breathtaking, almost impossible to put down. Alan Cumyn is a writer of remarkable talent.”–Alistair MacLeod“Though it charges forward like a thriller, Burridge Unbound also unfolds like a prayer.…If you were dazzled by the film The Year of Living Dangerously, you will admire Cumyn’s finesse at steering you out of Burridge’s domestic drama and into a jungle of intrigue.”–National Post“An exceptional achievement.…All I can think of is how chillingly real the core of Mr. Cumyn’s story is.…–*Ottawa Citizen“A riveting story.…”–Globe and Mail“A worthy achievement.…Cumyn is a promising author, worth following. He can write – his convincing portrait of Burridge alone, in all his psychological complexity, is highly original and no small feat.”–Toronto Star*“In electrifying prose, by turns violent, manic, and deeply sad, Alan Cumyn charts his lurching, rubble-strewn, chaotic, and strangely heroic course.”–Jury Citation for The Giller Prize by Margaret Atwood, Alistair MacLeod, and Jane Urquhart“Burridge Unbound is a thrilling piece of literary fiction. Cumyn has taken an explosive subject and made a fine novel out of it.”–Edmonton Journal“Cumyn’s writing is breathtakingly good. . . . He develops Burridge as a darkly humorous Everyman.…The novel is a beautiful and painful slice of reality.…”–Ottawa Life“The book takes on the dimensions of a thriller, taut, mesmerizing, horrific. It isn’t easy reading, but Cumyn is such a fine writer that... Product DescriptionAfter surviving a terrifying ordeal at the hands of terrorists in the South Pacific island of Santa Irene, Bill Burridge returns home to Ottawa and casts himself single-mindedly into building a human-rights organization to stand watch over the world’s most troubled areas. Yet, plagued by memories of his incarceration and by the strain of his disintegrating marriage, he is a man struggling to hold his life together. When a democratic revolution stands Santa Irene on a knife-edge between chaos and healing, Burridge reluctantly agrees to serve on a Truth Commission there to investigate past atrocities. Taut, intelligent, and written in the compelling, often sardonic voice of Bill Burridge, Cumyn’s gripping novel immerses us in a shadowy world of betrayals and shifting loyalties, and reveals the intricate, rejuvenating bonds of human relationships. Bill Burridge’s voice is infectious, his story a remarkable one as the novel builds to its climactic final scenes.From the Trade Paperback edition.
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North to Benjamin

North to Benjamin

Alan Cumyn

Young Adult / Fantasy / Romance

Hatchet meets Maybe a Fox in this piercing novel about Edgar, a boy who has lost the ability to speak and can only bark, and his dog Benjamin as they travel through the freezing Yukon wilderness in order to stop Edgar's mother from making a huge mistake.Eleven-year-old Edgar knows whenever his mother gets "the look" they won't be staying wherever they are for much longer. Soon it will be another town, another school, and, for Mom, another man. This time they're leaving Toronto—and Roger—behind for the wilds of northwestern Canada. For once, though, Edgar is excited. They'll be housesitting, and with the house comes Benjamin, an old Newfoundland for Edgar to take care of. Soon after landing in Dawson, Edgar and his mom meet Caroline, a girl Edgar's age, and her dad, Ceese. The moment his mom and Ceese meet, Edgar knows She's going to make him the next Roger; the next man his mom will leave. It doesn't matter that Ceese has a longtime...
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Losing It

Losing It

Alan Cumyn

Young Adult / Fantasy / Romance

From Publishers WeeklyIt takes only a week for the Sterling household to crumble and collapse in Canadian writer Cumyn's first novel to be published in the U.S. The Sterlings are ordinary members of the educated middle class living in Ottawa, but turmoil lurks beneath their surface calm. Bob Sterling, a professor of literature specializing in Edgar Allan Poe, is secretly obsessed with women's underthings; Julia, Bob's much younger wife and former student, is quietly losing her mind from the exhaustion of caring for Matthew, their two-year-old, and her mother, Lenore, who is tormented by Alzheimer's. Lenore's illness and Bob's lechery cause the fall of the house of Sterling, both literally (Lenore, under the delusion that she is in prison, starts a fire and burns down the house) and figuratively. Bob gets involved with Sienna Chu, a long-legged coed who exudes erotic promise and writes incomprehensible verse, and is coaxed by her into donning female lingerie and a red dress in his office. Even more foolishly, Bob lets Sienna photograph him, an obviously risky act in the age of the Internet, as Bob soon discovers. Cumyn moves his story along briskly, leaping from one perspective to another. His skill with voices is akin to mimicry: he can transition from Lenore's Bosch-like inner life to Bob's seedier consciousness without a false step. The result is an unclassifiable novel that possesses the precision of a mathematical theorem, the hilarity of a Marx Brother's skit and the pathos of confession. Copyright 2002 Reed Business Information, Inc. From Library JournalShades of Jonathan Franzen's The Corrections, Cumyn's darkly comic novel is the story of a family in meltdown. Julia Sterling, sleep-deprived slave to her demanding, still-nursing, two-year-old son and to her Alzheimer's-stricken mother, is "losing it." Julia's mother, Lenore, is losing it big time, as Alzheimer's both dispatches and confuses her present and past. And Julia's husband, a college professor, is about to lose everything, as he gives in to an attraction for an undergraduate and to the fulfillment of a rather kinky fetish. Propelled along by Julia's, Lenore's, and Bob's perspectives, as well as that of a former high school classmate of Julia who still pines after her, the story never seems as bizarre as the individual incidents: Lenore's escapades outside the nursing home, Bob's all-too-public "outing" on the Internet, the ensuing chaos after fire destroys Julia and Bob's home, and Bob's pitiful machinations to keep Julia in the dark about his fetish. Like Cumyn's Burridge Unbound (2000), a winner of the Ottawa Book Award, and The Corrections, this is an exceptional, affecting work that belongs in most fiction collections.Francine Fialkoff, "Library Journal" Copyright 2002 Reed Business Information, Inc.
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All Night

All Night

Alan Cumyn

Young Adult / Fantasy / Romance

Jess and Gregor live in a cold basement apartment. Gregor is a comedian who stacks chairs for a living. Jess is an actor who works in a restaurant. The sudden death of their close friend, Peter, forces them to think about their lives. They stay up all night talking, loving, arguing. Gregor lives for the moment, the next smile. Jess wants to make plans. This is their night of truth. Who are they? What do they want? What do they mean to each other? Will Peter's death mark the end of Jess and Gregor's life together? A perfect book choice for new readers.
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Tilt

Tilt

Alan Cumyn

Young Adult / Fantasy / Romance

Stan is an intense sixteen-year-old loner who desperately wants to make the junior varsity basketball team. And it seems that he may be about to do so, until he's blindsided by the unexpected attentions of Janine Igwash. Suddenly Stan is no longer thinking about jump shots. Instead he is obsessed with Janine's spiky hair, her milky white shoulders and the mysterious little tattoo at the base of her neck, not to mention the heat of her breath, her dark eyes, wide hips and . . . Sometimes Stan's imagination runs so wild he wonders whether he might be going crazy. That would be par for the course given his home life. His mother is dating the feckless Gary, and his little sister, designated gifted but a holy terror, is acting out. Then Stan's father arrives on the scene with Stan's four-year-old half brother, and things become truly insane.
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Famished Lover

Famished Lover

Alan Cumyn

Young Adult / Fantasy / Romance

In this anticipated follow-up to The Sojourn, Alan Cumyn continues the story of Ramsay Crome, an artist who never quite came home from the First World War. The horrors of a German prisoner of war camp haunt him, as does the memory of his sweetheart, his beautiful Margaret. Upon coming home, he meets and marries Lillian, a farm girl. By the time she gets pregnant, she wants nothing more than to escape the dreary poverty of their Depression-era existence and flee back to the farm with her husband and child. She wants him to love only her, to open up about his war experiences, explain the paintings she found of a nude Margaret. To her they are obscenities and provoke the bitter taste of jealousy. Alan Cumyn is the author of six acclaimed novels. Literary Fiction, Canadian Author.
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