Book Details

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Unseen Companion


New York Public Library Books for the Teen Age

ALA Booklist Editors' Choice

About the Book

In the late 1960's, in the small community of Bethel, Alaska, a beaten teenager named Dove Alexie is in prison. One day, he mysteriously vanishes, and curiously, there is no mention of hi s arrival or departure on the prison records. Four young people in Bethel tell their stories, and the narrative circles around Dove – their unseen companion.

Told with humour and insight, Unseen Companion spins together four unique voices that capture the complexities of human existence and the search for one's place in the universe.

o Based on the author's own experiences living and doing social work in fourteen Alaskan bush villages, which left Orenstein uniquely qualified to write the kind of loss and hopelessness presented in this novel.

o An intriguing and layered narrative structure, unique voices, and a brilliant over–arching metaphor that sums up one's place in the universe make this a unique and resonant book that will stick with readers for years to come.

Ages 12 +

Educator and Librarian Resources

Critical Praise

“A sensitive observer and a compelling storyteller, Orenstein offers a novel that is both touching and harsh.” —ALA Booklist (starred review)

“This gritty, tightly written Alaskan realism tackles harsh conditions and whether a sense of self is possible despite them.” —Kirkus Reviews

“Older readers who want to further explore the realm of Jean Craighead George’s Julie will find this an eye–opening journey” —Bulletin of the Center for Children’s Books

“Orenstein’s quiet but powerful book will speak especially to readers who are outsiders or who feel culturally displaced.” —Voice of Youth Advocates (VOYA)

“In Orenstein’s poetically rendered look at Alaska’s psychological landscape, this sense of nothingness is what also unites her characters.” —Publishers Weekly

“A multifaceted, compelling glimpse into Alaskan bush life.” —School Library Journal (starred review)

Product Details

  • ISBN: 9780060520588
  • ISBN 10: 0060520582
  • Imprint: Katherine Tegen Books
  • On Sale: 01/04/2005
  • Pages: 368
  • List Price: 10.50 CAD
  • BISAC1: YOUNG ADULT FICTION / Social Themes / Violence
  • BISAC2: YOUNG ADULT FICTION / Social Themes / Emotions & Feelings
  • BISAC3: YOUNG ADULT FICTION / Social Themes / Death & Dying

Unseen Companion by Denise Gosliner Orenstein

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