In the winter, life in McKinley, Minnesota, revolves around the rinks, where kids play hockey and grown-ups skate to scratchy phonograph records. Then, the year Marsh and his best friend, Willy, are twelve, Carl appears at the rink, wearing a battered, old leather flight jacket and doing a strange dance that is both beautiful and disturbing to watch.
It is Marsh and Willy who discover the terrible secret behind Carl's dance, a secret that threatens to destroy him. But a small miracle occurs, and Carl's dance becomes a fragile and tentative expression of hope and the healing power of love.
|Publisher:||Simon & Schuster Books For Young Readers|
|Product dimensions:||5.12(w) x 7.62(h) x 0.30(d)|
|Age Range:||10 - 14 Years|
About the Author
Gary Paulsen is one of the most honored writers of contemporary literature for young readers, author of three Newbery Honor titles, Dogsong, Hatchet, and The Winter Room. He has written over 100 books for adults and young readers. He divides his time among Alaska, New Mexico, Minnesota, and the Pacific.
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
My boss gave me this book to read. He said he felt like he was reading a story of his youth, growing up in a small town in Colorado. Carl uses his ice dancing ability to 'whoa' a girl that hangs out by the rink. The gentle girl appears at the rink and Carl does everything in his power to show his feelings for her. He finally succeeds through a series of almost frenetic ice dances. At first, this book did not appeal to me. I didn't relate to some guy dancing to show his feelings. But my boss told me it was the story of his teenage years around the ice pond in rural Colorado. It was a great read. Even if you don't like to dance, like my boss or Carl, you will enjoy this story.
Book talk:I first judge a book by its cover, even though there is saying that says I shouldn't. Once I am reading a book, I judge it by how much I want to keep reading. Can I put it down, or is there something in the book that propels me to keep reading? And when I finish, do I still see the places as if I were there and will I miss the characters now that I'm finished with their story? The cover of Dancing Carl has what looks to be two war planes over a watercolor background with shades of blue. Nice. There is no real action at the beginning of this story, and yet I wanted to keep reading. I liked 12 year old Marsh's voice and the way his words flowed so smoothly without pausing between thoughts. (Paulsen - omission of commas as Marsh talked) Marsh's descriptions of summer fishing and winter hockey were full of images as well as sounds. But the main character of the book is really Carl, a World War II veteran, who comes back to Marsh's Minnesota town and takes over caring for the skating rinks. Carl has a drinking problem, but he doesn't seem to be a drunk like Pisspot Jimmy. And when Carl comes on to the rink and raises his arms to dance, everyone, and I mean everyone on both the skating rink and the hockey rink, stop to watch. And just when Marsh and his friend Willy think Carl's problems from the war would leave him broken for good, a stranger comes into town and brings a love story to the ice. It was a winter the boys would never forget. And since I felt as though I were there, too, neither would I.