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Question: Book from 80s/90s, brother and sister, parent has passed away, boy gives sister an owl ornament named Hoot given to him by deceased parent, he meets girl, Gwen I think!

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Asked by orchydee on Tue 11, Apr 2017 02:55pm :
I loved this book growing up and cannot remember author or title at all!
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Comment by shelties on Tue 11, Apr 2017 08:22pm:
That sounds like the award-winning "Mama's Going to Buy You a
Mockingbird", by Canadian author Jean Little. Actually, I was thinking
about it the other day, too. I read it in 1988-89, during the summer out
of grade three or four. I love Jean Little's other books, but honestly,
it was just too sad for me! If I recall correctly, the boy's name was
Jeremy, and he had a younger sister. They spend some time during the
summer at the family's cabin. Right around that time, his father is
diagnosed with cancer. They are hopeful at first, but he doesn't make
it. The father sometimes surprises the kids with gifts, and I believe
that the boy's gift is the owl, which they name hoot. His mother
admires it, but the father jokes that she can't have everything. If I
recall correctly, he gives it to her for Christmas, after the father has
passed, with a note that says, "You can't have everything, Mom, but you
can have Hoot." With the mother working to make ends meet, they have to
make a decision about the cabin and the house, and choose to keep the
cottage and move to an apartment. I think that they adopt an abandoned
kitten. I believe that Jeremy may have rescued it out of a sack with
the help of a girl from school. Actually, I think that her name was
Tess and not Gwen. She is a bit of an outsider and lives with her
grandfather or has lost a parent or something. Jeremy struggled to
understand her at first, but I think that they realize that they have
some things in common.


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