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 is the author of ten novels for young readers. My Book of Life by Angel, which received five starred reviews, was a finalist for the Los Angeles Times Book Prize and winner of the CLA Young Adult Book of the Year. Other titles include Keturah and Lord Death, finalist for the National Book Award; Tom Finder, winner of th...
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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

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Customer Reviews of Calvin


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