Author: Anita Daher
Genre: Young adult, thriller
About Spider's Song: AJ, stuck in Yellowknife with her grandmother, meets a man from her mother's past.
Reviews of Spider's Song
AJ's mother has gone back to school, leaving AJ with her grandmother in Yellowknife. She's lonely and unhappy; she thinks her grandmother is crazy; she wonders if her mother is ever coming back; she doesn't know anything about her absent father; and she can't relate to the other kids at school. To cope, she writes in her blog and, sometimes, she cuts herself.
She looked at the loose tile above the medicine cabinet, the one wedged just under the light. She put her hand to it.
Stupid girl, no! Jerking her hand back, she used it to swipe at her snotty nose instead. Then she grabbed hold of her hair with both hands and began pulling, and pulling, and pulling, until she thought great chunks of flesh might pull from her head; until she could think of nothing but the pain.
She pulled her shirtsleeves up to her elbows and ran her fingers over the fading red lines.
...from pages 7-8
One day AJ discovers an old photo of her mother and two male friends. Shortly after that, she meets a travelling musician with a copy of the same photo. Could this man be her father?
Like many teenagers, AJ was prickly, sensitive, obviously struggling, and stronger than she gave herself credit for being. Early on in the story, it was mentioned that AJ was in grade 10, which would make her 15 but, honestly, she seemed younger than that to me. Or, at least, younger than the kids I know who are that age.
The story moved along nicely and became intense as it approached the end. I didn't figure out all the details of what was going on until about the same time as AJ. The setting was also well done. I've never been to Yellowknife, and this book didn't exactly make me want to visit, but I had a good sense of the place. The fringes of it, anyway.
There was also a lesson in this book for parents: sometimes sheltering children from the truth can do more harm than good.
I have to admit that I don't read much young adult fiction. But this book caught my eye when I was searching for a story set in the Northwest Territories and it seemed interesting so I read it. I enjoyed the book and encouraged my younger daughter to read it, too. Her review will follow eventually. [Update: daughter's review added. See below.]
Reviewed by Lynn Bornath on 28 May 2008.
Spider's Song is about a young girl named AJ who moved in with her grandmother. AJ isn't too keen on making friends in case she moves again but this kid named Mark grows on her. AJ's mom is at college and she can barely remember her father. Or can she?
I liked Spider's Song. It's a good book if you like all those "Oh my god" and "I knew it" moments. This book is loaded with them. I think AJ's life is like a 1,000 piece puzzle with 100 pieces missing in it. Her life is incomplete; there are things in her life that she doesn't even know about. I especially liked the ending. It left me very satisfied. I would recommend this book to people who like those intense books with a good finish. Overall, this book was well-written.
Reviewed by KB, age 14, on 2 June 2008.
- Jennifer Ariel Caldwell, CM Magazine, 25 May 2007
- “Anita Daher weaves a story of deceit and untold truths and shows us what happens when people don't talk face to face.”
- Rose, Rose's Pensieve, 30 June 2007
- “I was completely and utterly hooked.”
WARNING: Comments may contain spoilers.blog comments powered by Disqus
Added 28 May 2008.
Updated 07 September 2013.