"Granddad has been diagnosed with Alzheimer's disease, and preteen grandson Tim is deep in denial, attributing the memory losses, confusion, and erratic outbursts of temper to simple old age and pressure from unsympathetic family members. . . . A rosy conclusion just isn't possible, but readers will find comfort in the assurance that Granddad has the unconditional love and support of his family." The Bulletin of the Center for Children's Books
Tim has ferociously denied that anything is wrong with his beloved grandfather, but he quickly learns otherwise on a clandestine fishing trip. Although his grandfather exhibits flashes of his old self, he can't make change at the bait store, forgets to pack fresh water or a net, and experiences sudden, frightening mood changes. Worst of all, he keeps withdrawing into an eerie, silent helplessness, and finally walks off into the night, abandoning Tim and the camper. Bauer leaves out pointed lectures and clinical information about the disease to focus on its emotional impact on the victim and those around him....Tim's experience with his grandfather may convince readers with Alzheimer's-stricken relatives that denial serves no purpose, and that the only response may be to surround the victim with loving, responsible family.
"With its humane, complicated characters, this makes a good choice for discussion." Booklist, ALA