Into the Wind

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Pub Date 2 Mar 2021 | Archive Date 15 Apr 2021
Red Chair Press, One Elm Books

Description

A character-driven novel about the unlikely friendship between a 10-year-old boy and an elderly woman. The old woman badgers the boy into taking her sailing, but when the weather turns bad, it becomes a wild sail. It becomes the last trip before she goes into the hospital where she dies: but not before the two of them share memories of their last sail together. Hazel helps build the boy's confidence during a tough time in his home life. Both moving and joyful, Into the Wind is a poignant story about loss and love in a boy's life, and the surprising and sustaining bonds that can grow between the old and young.

A character-driven novel about the unlikely friendship between a 10-year-old boy and an elderly woman. The old woman badgers the boy into taking her sailing, but when the weather turns bad, it...


Advance Praise

"A moving, well-written tale about an unusual friendship."

      -- Kirkus Reviews

"What keeps Into the Wind sailing along from the opening chapter until the last? Tenderness. It’s at the center of this powerful story about a boy with some family troubles and his unexpected friendship with a spirited old woman. Tough things happen in young Rusty’s life but his relationships—with his beloved sailboat, his family, his new friend—sustain him and, in turn, left me feeling buoyed and deeply satisfied."

      --- Esther Ehrlich , Author of Nest


"A moving, well-written tale about an unusual friendship."

      -- Kirkus Reviews

"What keeps Into the Wind sailing along from the opening chapter until the last? Tenderness. It’s at the center of...


Available Editions

EDITION Hardcover
ISBN 9781947159426
PRICE US$16.99 (USD)

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Average rating from 13 members


Featured Reviews

First sentence: “Hey, kid!” a gravelly voice called from behind me. Startled, I turned from bailing the afternoon’s rain out of my sailboat and saw this creepy old lady about fifteen feet away on the dock, not far from where I’d left my bike.

Premise/plot: Rusty, the hero of this middle grade coming of age novel, is struggling with making sense of life. His father is trying--trying hard--but he can't be both mother and father. His sister, Lizzy, is just MEAN AND CRUEL according to Rusty. (It would be interesting to get a less biased opinion of her.) His mother is gone--not forever and ever and ever gone. But gone away to a mental health institution. It's summer and he's in summer school. It seems like nothing is going his way...

But life sometimes gives you what you NEED and not exactly what you want. Enter Hazel. Hazel is a senior citizen with a love for sailing and a messy house. When Rusty first meets Hazel, he's frustrated. Why is she--a practical stranger in a wheel chair--badgering him about taking her out in his boat??? Why is she talking to him at all let alone being so pesky about it????

Yet Hazel and Rusty are destined to be friends--at least for that summer. Perhaps his summer won't be wasted after all...

My thoughts: SADS ALERT. I'm tempted to leave it at that. But I won't. I enjoyed this one for the most part. I won't lie there were times I wanted to intervene and tell Rusty something. But that's a good thing, right? That the character feels real enough that I want to give him a talking to???

I also take it as a good sign that this one is well written since I have absolutely zero interest in sailing and yet I found it super compelling. The chapter where the two finally go sailing together was wonderful.

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Heart warming tale! I love stories like this. Hazel is very insightful of a child in need. Walter is lucky to find an adult interested in caring for him during some difficult family event-his mom is in a mental hospital and his dad is a bit distracted. His sister, Lizzy, was just annoying! Maybe it was just her age... Poor Walter, floundering at school, bullied by older, and seemingly, wealthier boys, no present mom or dad, and hateful sister...Hazel is just what he needs. I loved the chapters involving their sailing!I hope I'm having as much fun as Hazel someday! (She reminds me of Maude from the film Harold and Maude! Feisty and full of life to the very end.)
Wonderful story, even the inevitable end is fitting and good. Good strong story for all ages.

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Rusty lives on an island off the New England coast with his father, who works in the local hardware store, his bossy older sister, and his mother, who is currently away at a residential treatment center for depression. This is hard for a ten year old, and if the summer weren't bad enough, Rusty has to go to summer school for math and his best friend is away. He is excited about a small boat that a neighbor has given him to work on, and he is making a project of fixing it and learning to sail. While working on the boat one day, local artist Hazel asks if he will take her out in the boat. The problem? She's elderly and in a wheelchair. Because it is a small town, before long she is asking his father if Rusty will do odd jobs for her, feeding him chicken salad and watermelon for lunch, and helping him with his math before he mows her lawn, dusts her living room, and learns about sailing from her. Hazel is also matter-of-fact about his mother, and allows Rusty to talk a bit more about his feelings than he is encouraged to talk at home. Eventually, his mother comes home, summer winds down, and his connection with Hazel fizzles out. Luckily, their one day of sailing was a memorable one that both enjoyed.
Strengths: This was well written and definitely painted a vivid picture of life in a small New England town. The information about sailing was understandable and informative, and I liked that Hazel and Rusty were able to bond over a shared interest. I wish that there were more occasions for middle grade readers to meet the elderly, either in books or in person. Hazel is portrayed as engaged in the present and passionate about art and sailing despite her frailty. The issue of Rusty's mother was depicted in a matter-of-fact rather than soppy way, and doesn't highjack the entire story. It's helpful to see students who struggle in school but are able to find some success through help and hard work.

This was a gently sad novel of love, learning and loss. The best middle grade novels teach these lessons with a few explosions and embarrassing situations thrown in.

This reminded me strongly of Greene's 1969 A Girl Called Al, a book which brings me to tears and I can't bear to weed.

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Oh my goodness, what a lovely book!

It’s the start of the summer holidays which should mean a great few weeks stretching ahead of him but Rusty’s summer is not turning out like he’d planned. First off, he failed fifth grade which means that he has to attend summer school and secondly, his mom is in a hospital on the mainland. It gradually transpires that she has been suffering from depression and has gone to a clinic for treatment, but how long she will be away for, no-one knows. Struggling with his dad who seems distracted and his bossy older sister, Rusty turns to sailing to fill his time.

While he’s messing about with his boat one day, he meets Hazel, a feisty old lady who is wheelchair bound. She offers to give him a summer job but it’s clear from the beginning that she wants his company more than she wants jobs done around the house and gradually Rusty comes to realise that he needs her too.

This is a simply beautiful story about the relationship between a pre-teen and an old lady and their mutual respect for each other. Hazel shares her wisdom in a very gentle manner and much of what she teaches Rusty is left unsaid. I will admit to shedding a few years near the end, not so much over the events unfolding, but because of the beautiful way it was written. This is a perfect book for exploring what older people have to offer, life and loss. It should be on every class bookshelf.

This is the first book I’ve read by this author but it definitely won’t be the last.

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A friendship between an old woman and a young boy, and their love of sailing.

I have only been sailing once, and I didn't know half the terms used in this book, but the context gives their meaning, and the joy and love for sailing that Rusty and Hazel have, together.

Both are missing something in their lives, that being together gives them. Hazel is there when Rusty needs her, and vice versa.

Enjoyable, with some heart ache thrown in.

Quick read. Good narrative voice.


Thanks to Netgalley for making this book available for an honest review.

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A well written novel with an unlikely friendship. I think this is what I loved best about this book.
It reminded me of the friendship that I had with an elderly woman.
She certainty was special.
I loved their respect for each other and the way they were there for one another.
I must say that I learned a lot from this book that is geared towards the young adult in the sail boat scenes. A lot of terms I had never heard of..
In my opinion the cover of this book tells it all and I had to laugh!
Rusty was an awesome kid to be sure. I sure liked him a lot!
I can relate to Rusty in more ways than one. It's why I appreciate this story so much!
I did shed some tears in certain scenes but there were others I truly delighted in.
This story is heartwarming and the characters will leave you thinking about them long after the story is done.
I recommend this book. You'll love the characters as much or more like I did.
My thanks to Netgalley.
I was NOT required to write a positive review. All opinions are my own

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If you were ever looking for a book for middle graders that will absolutely capture their attention without resorting to magic, or science fiction, or super powers, this is it. A delightful read full of many subtle life lessons for youngsters in transition. Fully deserving of 5 stars. A must read.

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Touching story between a boy and an elderly woman. Rusty helps Hazel with odd jobs while she helps him stay focused while his mom is away being treated for depression. Rusty has a small boat and takes Hazel sailing and they have the time of their lives. Hazel shows Rusty how you can teach yourself many things while doing what you can even if it’s difficult. Great book.

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With thanks to NetGalley and Red Chair Press for an early copy in return for an honest review.

A compelling middle grade book with a very unlikely friendship. I am a big fan of books with multigenerational relationships and so I enjoyed watching the friendship develop between Rusty and Hazel. I hope this book inspires young readers to spend time with their grandparents or other older people in their lives, because there is a lot to be learned.

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Into the Wind, by William Loizeaux is a book you will not want to miss. It tells the story of Rusty, an almost 6th grader who has to go to summer school to catch up on math, and his mother has gone some place that will help her not be so sad anymore. When he’s bailing out his little catboat, an old lady in a wheelchair asks if he will take her sailing. Rusty brushes her off, but a few days later Hazel sees him in town and she asks him if he’d like to come to her house for lunch with watermelon for dessert. Not one to pass on watermelon, Rusty accepts the invitation and soon finds a friend who understands his love of sailing, encourages him in his studies, and helps him rise to the challenge in many areas of his life.
This book is full of heart and fun. I loved learning about sailing terms (definitions included in the back), and the relationship between Rusty and Hazel is so delightful to watch as it develops all the way to the end. William Loizeaux’s writing takes you right along with his relaxed and fun to read style. I highly recommend this book, but have tissues at the ready as you get to the end.
Thanks to Net Galley for a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review. Opinions are my own.

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A friendship between an old woman and a young boy, and their love of sailing.

I have only been sailing once, and I didn't know half the terms used in this book, but the context gives their meaning, and the joy and love for sailing that Rusty and Hazel have, together.

Both are missing something in their lives, that being together gives them. Hazel is there when Rusty needs her, and vice versa.

Enjoyable, with some heart ache thrown in.

Quick read. Good narrative voice.


Thanks to Netgalley for making this book available for an honest review

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I received a review copy from NetGalley in return for an honest review. Into the Wind by William Loizeaux tells the story of the unusual friendship and bond between an older woman and a young boy and their mutual love for sailing. It's a lovely story for children with important life lessons.

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