Calvin by Martine LeavittCalvin by Martine Leavitt


byMartine Leavitt

Paperback | November 15, 2015

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Winner of the 2016 Governor General's Literary Award for Young People's Literature - Text

In the town of Leamington, Ontario, a seventeen-year-old boy is suddenly stricken by a schizophrenic episode and wakes up in hospital. The boy's name is Calvin, and he is plagued by hallucinations.

As the hallucinations persist, Calvin comes to believe that the answer lies in performing one grand and incredible gesture.

And so he decides to walk across Lake Erie. In January. The temperatures have been below freezing for weeks. The ice should hold...

The lake, it turns out, is more marvelous, and more treacherous, than Calvin had ever imagined - populated by abandoned cars (joy ride!), ice-fishing eccentrics, psychokiller snow beings, and a not-so-mythical sea witch named Jenny Greenteeth.

Not to mention the man-eating tiger that looms just out of his sight lines as he treks.

But the biggest surprise of all is that Calvin finds himself accompanied by Susie, the girl of his dreams. Or is it his dreams that have conjured up Susie?

Part romance, part adventure story, part quest novel, Martine Leavitt brings her inimitable gentle wit, humor and compassion to a story about a teenaged boy struggling to gain control of his own mind and destiny.

Martine Leavitt has written ten novels for young-adult readers, including the following: Calvin, winner of the Governor General's Literary Award, longlisted for the Printz Award and selected for the YALSA Best Fiction for Young Adults list; My Book of Life by Angel, a finalist for the Los Angeles Times Book Prize and winner of the Cana...
Title:CalvinFormat:PaperbackDimensions:184 pages, 8.5 × 5.5 × 1.11 inPublished:November 15, 2015Publisher:Groundwood Books LtdLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:1554987202

ISBN - 13:9781554987207


Rated 1 out of 5 by from Couldn't Even Get Through It DNF at pg 80. And, to be honest, I only made it that far because I had time to kill between sessions, and it was the only book in my car. I had picked this book up at McNally Robinson while in Saskatoon a couple months back. It looked really interesting, had some great accolades on the back cover, and, as someone who loved Calvin and Hobbes as a kid, I felt the need to see what it was all about. It started out okay. Misfit at school suddenly has a psychotic break, resulting in him seeing talking tigers and believing that there is a strange connection between him and the character of Calvin from the comic strip. Cool. I’m down with that. And that’s about where I stopped enjoying it. As with all DNFs, it’s just a matter of preference, but I like writing about books I don’t enjoy, so let’s do this. Things I Liked: Schizophrenia rep! How often do we get books with characters with schizophrenia? It was really great to see. It was cool to see a book incorporate such a popular comic! Yay for books set in Canada! Things I Didn’t Like: This book was 90% dialogue. It was honestly like reading a script, with a few bits of setting in and around it. You have no idea what the thought process behind any of the dialogue is, how the line is being said, or even what’s being done while they’re saying it. It makes it hard to enjoy because you’re given nothing to go by. Calvin was supposed to be 17 and in grade twelve, but it was hard to remember this because he and Susie acted like he was 12-14 years old. They both acted and spoke child-like, and it was disappointing in a book supposed to be about almost-adults. It would have been one thing if this was categorized as middle grade, but it was harder to swallow in young adult. And speaking of the characters, I honestly didn’t care if they fell through the ice on Lake Erie and drowned. Maybe because there was absolutely no development for either of them, and the lack of information from the dialogue-only writing, I don’t know. Actually, them falling through the ice might have made the book more exciting. As of page 80, a whole lot of nothing had happened. Calvin is in the hospital with schizophrenia, he breaks out, they go to the store, they start hiking across the lake. And nothing was particularly interesting about any of that, because it felt super glossed over. So, all in all, this book isn’t for me, and I won’t be continuing with it. I’m glad that I tried it, though.
Date published: 2017-11-13
Rated 5 out of 5 by from one of the best books I've ever read! I read this book for a book club and it was by far my favorite book. I find it provides an insight as to what people with schizophrenia go through.
Date published: 2017-05-31
Rated 4 out of 5 by from A fun read I love the allusions that Calvin is made up of. It is such a fun, light read. If you're a calvin and hobbs fan, it's worth the day it'll take to read. Love that it's Canadian, love the diverse content (it's about mental illness and schizophrenia)
Date published: 2017-05-15
Rated 3 out of 5 by from Okay I read this book for my book club, but I didn't fall in love with it. The storyline needs more to it to get me going.
Date published: 2017-03-16
Rated 2 out of 5 by from Not A Favourite this was kind of a forced read. I really wanted to get it done and out of the way but it was actually extremely difficult to push through it. The story was meant to be inspirational/motivational/uplifting, but I felt no connection to the characters and overall just felt it was a slow book. Not to say it wasn't bad I just personally didn't very much enjoy it.
Date published: 2016-12-27
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Great! Calvin is definitely worth the read. The plot is unlike anything that I've read before, and so are the characters. If you're a Calvin and Hobbes fan, then this is the book for you!
Date published: 2016-12-21
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Amazing This is a must read! Even if you are not a Calvin and Hobbes fan, you will enjoy this quick read. Such an interesting take on schizophrenia, and how it affects the relationships of victims of this disease. Great Canadian novel!
Date published: 2016-12-21
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Well-done, Martine Leavitt It's about a seventeen year old boy named Calvin, who following a psychotic break, believes he is the grown up version of Calvin from the Calvin and Hobbes comic strip. Because of the surprising number of similarities between them, as a reader you begin to wonder if he might be correct. However, when Calvin begins to see a ten foot tiger and it starts talking to him, he knows something's not right. After being diagnosed with schizophrenia, Calvin leaves the hospital and sets out on a quest with his childhood friend, Suzie. No, not Suzie Derkin, but Suzie McLean. He believes that if Bill Watterson, the creator of the comic strip, comes out of retirement to draw one more strip showing a seventeen year old Calvin without his famous sidekick, Hobbes, he'll be cured of his mental disorder. There's just one catch: Calvin must trek across the frozen Lake Erie to reach Watterson on the American side and the reader must decide what or who is an hallucination. It's a whimsical and heartbreaking look at mental disorders and kept me thinking about Calvin for days after finishing the novel. It was such a fascinating read about an important subject, that I purchased a set to teach to a grade 10 English class. They loved it!
Date published: 2016-12-08
Rated 1 out of 5 by from I Hated This I really disliked this book. It is incredibly rare that I find a book where I cannot find at least some aspects to boil down and enjoy, but I guess that this is just a rarity. I found the plot stupid and trivial, incredibly unrealistic, and overall lacking. The writing was sub-par and the dialogue made me want to die.
Date published: 2016-12-04

Editorial Reviews

"A fresh, funny voice that never diminishes the seriousness of schizophrenia. . . . Leavitt delivers an imaginative exploration of mental illness, examining what's real and what's true in this magical world." - Booklist, STARRED REVIEW"Equal parts coming-of-age tale, survival adventure, and love story, this outstanding novel also sensitively deals with an uncommon but very real teen issue, making it far more than the sum of its parts." - Kirkus, STARRED REVIEW"This is a gentle and unique story about a boy struggling with schizophrenia; while Calvin is indeed having grandiose visions that include a beloved cartoon character, he is funny, charming, and smart." - School Library Journal"Funny, intellectual, and entertaining, it's a sensitive yet irreverent adventure about a serious subject." - Publishers Weekly"The first-person narrative eschews quotation marks and dialogue tags, further blurring the lines between real life and what's in Calvin's head. . . . Memorable." - Horn Book, STARRED REVIEW"Leavitt's writing is virtually flawless . . . just the right amount of comic savvy and emotional intelligence." - Quill & Quire, STARRED REVIEW