Carrying Mason: Some Choices are Worth Fighting For  -     By: Joyce Magnin
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Carrying Mason: Some Choices are Worth Fighting For

Zondervan / 2011 / Hardcover

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Product Description

Luna has learned an awful lot in her thirteen years-how to skin a rabbit, how to gut a fish, where to pick the perfect wildflowers-but it's not enough. When her best friend, Mason, dies, she decides to honor his memory by moving in with his mentally disabled mother, Ruby Day. While cooking and cleaning for Ruby Day isn't always easy, everything seems to be going relatively fine-until trouble arrives in the form of Ruby Day's aunt, who will stop at nothing to make sure her niece is put away in a mental institution.
Luna is only thirteen. How can she stand up to Ruby Day's aunt? What would Mason want her to do? And why is saying good-bye so difficult?

Product Information

Format: Hardcover
Number of Pages: 208
Vendor: Zondervan
Publication Date: 2011
Dimensions: 8.50 X 5.50 (inches)
ISBN: 0310726816
ISBN-13: 9780310726814
Availability: Expected to ship on or about 08/23/15.
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Ages: 9-12

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Publisher's Description

What does it mean to lay down your life? Luna has learned an awful lot in her thirteen years—how to skin a rabbit, how to gut a fish, here to pick the perfect wildflowers—but it’s not enough. When her best friend, Mason, dies, she decides to honor his memory by moving in with his mentally disabled mother, Ruby Day. While cooking and cleaning for Ruby Day isn’t always easy, everything seems to be going relatively fine—until trouble arrives in the form of Ruby Day’s aunt, who will stop at nothing to make sure her niece is put away in a mental institution. Luna is only thirteen. How can she stand up to Ruby Day’s aunt? What would Mason want her to do? And why is saying good-bye so difficult?

Author Bio

Joyce Magnin is the author of five novels, including the popular and quirky Bright’s Pond Series, and the middle grade novel, Carrying Mason. She is a frequent conference speaker and writing instructor. Joyce lives in Pennsylvania with her son, Adam, and their crazy cat, Mango, who likes to eat nachos.

ChristianBookPreviews.com

Joyce Magnin's Carrying Mason shares the struggle of doing right in the face of difficulty. After her best friend Mason's death, 13-year-old Luna Gleason steps up to look after his mother, Ruby Day. Dealing with his death and her new caretaking responsibilities can be overwhelming, but Luna sticks to it.

This book is a reflective story of responsibility and of helping the helpless, shared in a melancholy, rambling, and dramatic style. Luna understands Ruby Day better and learns that even the handicapped have lessons to teach. Magnin's greatest gift is her vivid and practical description.

Luna faces the decision between what's easy and what’s right: living comfortably at home, or honoring her friend and God by helping Ruby Day. She chooses the latter and finds it difficult, confusing, and enriching.

The protagonist is spunky and strong-willed, sticking to her guns in sometimes theatrical ways. She is not always kind, especially when it comes to dealing with her sister Delores and people who look down on Ruby Day, but she is strong.

Carrying Mason was too long, winding, and melodramatic for my taste, but some children might enjoy it; it does have lessons to share. – Carlita Stewart, www.ChristianBookPreviews.com

Publisher's Weekly

Magnin (Bright's Pond series) writes her first book for younger readers with this middle-grade story of 13-year-old Luna, whose best friend Mason dies in a car accident. Luna decides to move in with Mason's mother, Ruby Day, who is mentally disabled, to lend a hand and to honor her friend. The plot thickens when Ruby Day's Aunt Sapphire shows up in a chauffeured limousine wearing a boa made of two dead foxes. Sapphire wants something, and it can't be good. Magnin's strengths are well displayed in this coming-of-age tale: her dialogue crackles, her wit relieves (Luna is affectionately called "Luna Fish" from a mishap with a tuna fish sandwich), and her sense of family dynamics that includes the usual verbal sparring among children is lively. Luna's parents seem a bit too Hallmark Channel good to be true, but that won't bother everyone. There's no supernatural world or dystopia here--just smalltown life, death, and growing up. Ages 8–12. (Sept.) Copyright 2011 Reed Business Information.

Editorial Reviews

'This is a tender book with a strong heroine, and it delivers a positive message about standing up for those who cannot advocate for themselves.' - Kara Dean, Booklist Review

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  1. Mount Dora, FL
    Gender: female
    5 Stars Out Of 5
    Straight Through to the End
    August 26, 2011
    M. Pieper
    Mount Dora, FL
    Gender: female
    Quality: 5
    Value: 5
    Meets Expectations: 5
    I'm an unabashed fan of the Bright's Pond series by rising star and author Joyce Magnin. That's why I found it scary to open her middle grade novel, CARRYING MASON. But--as is often the case when we face our fears--I'm so glad I did.

    Not only does Magnin have the chops to write for the children's market, but she kept me reading from first page straight through to the end without a break. Yes, plane trips can provoke such attention, but I had options.

    When thirteen-year-old Luna's best friend and companion Mason dies, she has options, too. But as she sees it, her decision to move in with Mason's mentally disabled mother, Ruby Day, and care for her in his stead involves nothing more than simple obedience.

    "Mason died, and now she's by herself, and Jesus said to help the widows and orphans, so that's what I intend to do." This determined veteran of the road less traveled has plenty to learn, and Magnin grants us the privilege of joining her journey.

    As the story unfolds, we see the unspoken cruelties of a life like Ruby's and the gentle but flawed way Luna and others respond. We remember that love endures when all else fails. And we're reminded that everybody matters to God.

    Kudos once more to Magnin for creating characters I'd know if I met them on the street, for writing dialogue so real I can hear it as I read, and for pouring truth through story in a way that moves me to step back in awe.

    And read straight through to the end.
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