Canadian Children's Book News Review - Between Shadows

Reviewed by: Amy Mathers

Ari Martin has big plans to spend the summer with his Gramps at his cabin on Canoe Lake. When his Gramps dies in March, Ari finds himself going to the cabin with his father and Aunt Laurel to settle the estate instead. It turns out Gramps left the cabin to Ari, although his aunt and father are set on selling it. With the memories of Ari's mother dying during a past cabin visit, there are shadows haunting this beautiful piece of land, but Ari falls in love with it all over again and is determined to do anything to get his family to stay.

In this compact and heartfelt tale, 12-year-old Ari is caught between wanting a new start for his father and himself after the death of his mother and the seemingly good intentions of the grown-ups in charge of him. During his visit, Ari has the opportunity to get to know his Gramps even better through the cabin and land he left behind as well as all of the friendships he cultivated, allowing Ari a unique perspective on the situation. His aunt and father, hwoever, have other agendas.

With her words, Waldron paints a strikingly vivid backdrop of the rainbow cabin and Ari's experience of nature. As Ari develops through the story, he is able to help his family find a deeper understanding of their grief over loved ones and opportunities lost, while also encouraging them to look past their sorrow and connect with life again. 

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