The Gravesavers

Mass Market Paperback | November 28, 2006

bySheree Fitch

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“An odd shaped shell caught my eye. . . . I turned it over. . . . It was a tiny, perfect skull.”

In the wake of a family tragedy, twelve-year-old Minn Hotchkiss is sent to spend the summer with her sour grandmother in the tiny seaside town of Boulder Basin, Nova Scotia. Almost as soon as she arrives, Minn discovers the skull of a human child on the beach. She is swiftly caught up in a mystery that reaches back more than a century, to the aftermath of the most tragic shipwreck in Maritime history before the Titanic.

Over the course of this extraordinary summer, Minn will discover romance with a boy who turns out to be much more than he seems, and learn that the grandmother she resented is more curious, dedicated, and surprising than she had ever guessed. She might even meet a world-famous rock star!

By summer’s end, Minn will solve a ghostly mystery and, most importantly, finally be able to give up the terrible secret she has kept locked in her heart.

From the Trade Paperback edition.

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From the Publisher

“An odd shaped shell caught my eye. . . . I turned it over. . . . It was a tiny, perfect skull.”In the wake of a family tragedy, twelve-year-old Minn Hotchkiss is sent to spend the summer with her sour grandmother in the tiny seaside town of Boulder Basin, Nova Scotia. Almost as soon as she arrives, Minn discovers the skull of a human ...

Sheree Fitch is a storyteller and poet and has been an award winning Doubleday Canada author since 1987. She lives in River John and Dartmouth Nova Scotia.From the Trade Paperback edition.

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Format:Mass Market PaperbackDimensions:336 pages, 6.86 × 4.21 × 0.87 inPublished:November 28, 2006Publisher:PRH Canada Young ReadersLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0770429602

ISBN - 13:9780770429607

Appropriate for ages: 13 - 17

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Rated 5 out of 5 by from Amazing ! I got this book last year for Christmas from my aunt, when I first read the back I didn't think I would like it. But after the first few chapters I was hooked, it's funny with really good ideas and it's perfectly written. I definitely recommend this book.
Date published: 2013-12-07
Rated 4 out of 5 by from It was pretty good..... (spoilers) The beginning of this book was great, when it split off into two different books I was like ok whatever. It was twist when Max turned out to be the dead guy and the ending was an even bigger surprise! I am so glad that Nanna said yes before he died, but I never expected him to die. Overall it was a really good book, a little sad, a little mysterious, and very touching, I would definitely recommend this.
Date published: 2008-12-11
Rated 3 out of 5 by from It was Good. I borrowed this book from my 15 year old daughter and it was good. But you must know that half way through it changes and it becomes a two part story .Good for the youngsters...
Date published: 2008-08-04
Rated 5 out of 5 by from An Unexpected Treasure When a tragic event shocks the Hotchkiss household, twelve-year-old Minn can’t rationalise being condemned to spend the summer in Boulder Basin with her disagreeable grandmother. But in spite of her own dour attitude about the situation, Minn is soon swept into a historical marine disaster and, when she resolves to salvage what she can, finds support and love in the most unexpected people. Minn is a dramatic, spirited, and sometimes selfish pre-teen, but is never less than charismatic; her overactive imagination (“O. I.”) and unexpected quirks are guaranteed to delight any reader. Minn is thus a captivating narrator, placed by authour Sheree Fitch two years after the summer in question. Fitch, a first-time novelist and award-winning writer, throws a second narrator – twelve-year-old shipwreck survivor John Hindley – into the mix before “The Gravesavers” reaches its midpoint. This takes time to adapt to, as both narrators speak (with little indication of any change between the two) in first-person and in present tense, despite their stories taking place in three different presents. But don’t let the structure faze you. “The Gravesavers” is an adventurous, intelligent read that tackles grave matters in new, unassuming ways. When you reach its surprise ending, you’ll only want to start it over again.
Date published: 2008-04-15
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Surprise Ending! This was a wonderful historical fiction with a surprise ending. Sheree Fitch's first try at a novel was incredible.
Date published: 2008-01-11
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Amazing Book!! Sheree Fitch did an amazing job of telling the story of Minn (short for Cinnamon) who is a girl who is sent to live with her grumpy grandmother over the summer. There Minn discovers a secret about the biggest ship wreck before the Titanic. This book was interesting and is a great read for anyone 11 and up.
Date published: 2007-03-26
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Heart Braking This book is absolutley amazing! I'm not much for stuff that isnt so much a fairy tale as it is realistic but I loved this book! It had many diffrent aspects like :time travel, love, adventure, hope, and faith! When Cinnamon (Minn) Hotchkiss is banished to live with her sour grandmother after a family tragedy occurs back home with her parents Minn must make do with the best. When she is hunting for shells and discovers a skull her grandmother explains the story of the crumbling gravesight of all those lost in the S.S. Atlantic. When a mysterious boy seems to be willing to help her out Minn is overjoyed. Someone famous might also be lurking around the small town to! But when Minn makes a huge effort to save the graves it seems she has gone to far. Minn is astounded at what occurs from her small will, but there are some things Minn needs to figure out first. Will Minn have the courage to let go? Will she have the strength to face her secret head on? Find out in this spectacular novel written by Sheree Fitch! This book is sure to make everyone fall in love with it! I never cry for books but this one made my lips tremble! Absolutley phenominal, a must read.
Date published: 2006-12-30
Rated 5 out of 5 by from FANTASTIC Sheree Fitch has written 2 stories that build together into a mytery. An imaginative, up for the challenge girl falls in love with a blue-eyed beach boy and together they uncover the mystery of an old shipwrek. A must-read for young teens ages 10-15.
Date published: 2006-12-01
Rated out of 5 by from IndigoKids Recommends: Experts' Favourites A great historical fiction about a shipwreck off the coast of Noa Scotia before the Titanic. A young girl is sent to live with her grandmother while her parents are grieving the death of the unborn baby. A young boy is traveling on that shop sailing from Ireland with his family in another time. They meet, in spite of the fact that they are from different times in history. A mystery unfolds about the girl, the boy and the grandmother. This book truly is a work of art!
Date published: 2006-11-13
Rated 3 out of 5 by from 2 Stories ; 1 Ending I enjoyed how this book was written in the perspective of a young girl. What I liked most was her overactive imagination though, it gave the book character. It was unique how the author tied in both stories in the end, I liked reading two stories and know more then one side of the tale.
Date published: 2006-05-01
Rated 5 out of 5 by from amazing this book is a work of art. i couldn't but it down. two words, absolutely amazing.
Date published: 2006-03-03
Rated 5 out of 5 by from AMAZING I thought that the way s. Fitch captured the different characters was amazing and the book was just as great!!!
Date published: 2006-02-28
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Funny, Fun, and Thrilling --A must read!! When i finished this book i was breathless. I loved the way S.Fitch made two completely diffrent plots interwine so beautifully in the end, and in this compelling plot Minn Hotchkiss (fun name eh?) experiences adventure, horror, mystery, and of course...romance. This novel made me laugh out loud, and truly wonder about the fate of the funny and loving characters Sheree Fitch has created.
Date published: 2006-02-16
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Great Book This book is really entertaining, I could'nt put it down! It was amazing how the two storys slowly melted into eachother. I even started guessing how they related. With a great twist at the end, it's a sure five star... I'm still thinking about it
Date published: 2006-01-15
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Awesome!! I love how this book is two stories that join together and the end!!!!! Theres adventure romance and lots of other aspects all rolled up into one gret story. Go Fitch!!!!!!!!!!
Date published: 2005-06-24

Extra Content

Read from the Book

TODAYMy father says I know how to make a short story long. My mother says I was born with the gift of the gab.Today, I’ve got five minutes to speak — if I can. My tongue’s all puckered up, like I just bit into a chokecherry, and my fists are clamped tighter than oyster shells. Minnows are swimming in my belly. As for my heart? It’s doing a tap-dance routine, beating faster than before the start of any race I’ve ever run. Ordinarily, I calm myself down by reciting the names of clouds or constellations or all the capitals in every province and territory of Canada.Today, that’s not working.There must be at least three hundred of us huddled around this gravesite.What I want to say in my speech is: everything. I’ve got this hankering, as Harv would say, a notion to tell the whole story. I want to tell John Hindley’s story. He can’t tell it himself because he’s dead. Kaput. History. Long gone — in a manner of speaking.But the truth whole truth and nothing but the truth cross my heart hope to die stick a needle in my eye is a slippery thing. That’s why, after I’m introduced, I’ll be telling all these good folks a big fat whopping lie. For their own protection.If I can make it up those steps to the podium without tripping over my own two feet, I’ll do my five-minute spiel. Croak it out if I have to. But I’ll always know one thing for certain. It’s only one part of a story inside of many stories all twisted around each other like a tangled-up mizzenmast. If, like me, your nautical knowledge is almost zero, a mizzenmast is part of a ship. Picture a humongous rope ladder. It can save your life. John Hindley taught me that. How he managed that is the kind of secret that can only be whispered to the clouds: Cirrus. Cumulus. Nimbus. Stratus. Cirrocumulus. Altostratus.YESTERDAYSProper IntroductionsNext month, I’ll be fourteen and I don’t believe in ghosts. Nuh-uh. At least, I don’t believe in the kind of ghost that can jump out of a mirror and chase you out of a house or anything. But spirits? That’s a whole other story.“The spirit of a person never dies as long as there’s someone around to remember them. And you never know who that someone might be,” says my grandmother.It could even be someone as ordinary as me, Cinnamon Elizabeth Hotchkiss. Mostly I go by Minn, but yes, that’s Cinnamon like the spice except with a capital C and that’s Hotchkiss, not hopscotch or hog-kiss in case you’re even halfway thinking of making a joke. The name Cinnamon comes from the buns my mother ate waiting for me to arrive. Also, the song. The one my father sang to her belly in his best country-and-western twang:O sweet little cinnamon babyO baby we love you soSugar and spice and everything niceOur sweet little baby-yoooo!He yodels on the o. I know this song well because he still sings it to me. In front of my friends. Get the picture? Raymond — but hey, you can call me Ray — Hotchkiss is a real joker, all right. I think he really wishes he could yodel for a living. He’s a wannabe Wilf Carter — a famous singer “born right here in Nova Scotia,” he loves to boast. He seems to forget we live in New Brunswick and Wilf Carter is long dead. My father gets up every day, yodels in the shower like Wilf and dresses like a Canadian postcard. He’s a corporal in the RCMP. That stands for Royal Canadian Mounted Police, by the way, not Rotten Carrots Mashed Potatoes or Really Crazy Mental People. You might not know that if you aren’t Canadian.Being a Mountie’s daughter means I get to spit every year on November the tenth. That’s when my father polishes his boots for the Remembrance Day parade.I spit. Corporal Ray polishes. By the time we’re through, there I am, staring at my own reflection in the toe of each boot.“Shinier than any mirror in the whole of Buckingham Palace,” boasts Corporal Ray.But the best part? If I watch real close, I’ll catch his wink when he passes by next day in the parade. He’s supposed to be at attention and keep his eyes straight ahead like some kind of workhorse wearing blinders. Still, he always manages that wink.Being a cop’s kid isn’t all about having fun spitting. It’s not all parades.When I was in Grade Two, Davey Stevenson told me my father was a p-i-g PIG!“Pig child eat dirt!” he said. I ran home crying and told my mother who told my father.“Going to tell ya something, Minn,” he said that night after supper. “Next time Davey Stevenson tells you I’m a pig you look him right in the eye and say, that’s right, Davey, all cops are pigs. P-I-G-S. Stands for Pride, Integrity, Guts and Stamina.”That’s exactly what I did next time Davey started in. Shut him up pretty fast, all right.One night just last year Corporal Ray didn’t come home his usual time. When he got home my mother cried and hung on to him for dear life. They tried to spare me the details of what happened. Next day I found out anyhow, in the news. My father was the one who went in to get the bad guy. Buddy had a gun, too, and was holding his family hostage.I still have nightmares about that one.When I was little, Corporal Ray used to pretend he was a horse and cantered all us kids in the neighbourhood around the backyard. One at a time, he’d hoist us up on his shoulders, then gallop and whinny at the top of his lungs like some kind of idiot. Being a Mountie’s daughter means you know that the bad guys aren’t just on TV. You know that good guys are real, too.My mother, Dory, is a consultant for a paint store in downtown Fairvale. “It’s a dream job,” she says, “the world is my crayon book.” Office buildings and kitchen cabinets are, too. She mixes the paint, and best of all, she gets to invent new names all the time. Sombrero Sun. Cattail Brown. Foxy Cyan. Gumball Blue. That last one was one of my suggestions, by the way. Her favourite television show is Paint It Great and her most prized possession is an autographed copy of the book written by the show’s host. My mother also loves gardening and music by the old British singing group the Ladybugs.“Contrary to popular belief,” she says, “not all Maritimers grew up listening to fiddles and bagpipes.”She’s nuts about Hardly Whynot, the lead singer. “Hardly, sing to me,” she says when she puts on a CD. Then she gets a goopy look in her eyes like he’s singing just for her. Leastways, she used to.And I used to be the only child of Dory and Raymond Hotchkiss of 22 Redwood Drive, Fairvale, New Brunswick. E3B 1Z4. Eat three bananas, one Zamboni four.Everything’s changed. I’m still the only child. But my folks — as I knew them — vanished for a while. In their place? Two people — Dory and Ray look-alikes. Not Dory and Ray the parents I used to know.It wasn’t their fault. The winter before last, during the week between Christmas and New Year’s, a baby died before it was born. Corporal Ray and Dory’s baby. Because of what happened that week, and what happened after that and what happened after that, I got to meet John Hindley the way I did.From the Trade Paperback edition.

Editorial Reviews

A Red Maple Honour BookShortlisted for The Willow Award (SYRCA)Shortlisted for the CLA Book of the Year AwardShortlisted for the Ruth and Sylvia Schwartz Children’s Book Award 2006Nominated for the Manitoba Young Readers’ Choice Award“The Gravesavers is a humorous and heartfelt look into a devastating time in a young girl’s life. Sheree Fitch has truly captured the angst and curiosity inherent in the nature of any young person, and she has thrown in a Titanic-like story for added excitement….It is a pleasure to read a book with a real story with real people that I feel comfortable letting my children read.” –The Edmonton Journal“Although Sheree Fitch is a prolific and prizewinning author of children’s books, Gravesavers is her first novel. On the strength of this debut, it’s fair to say that she’s found another medium in which she excels….[A] thoroughly satisfying experience for readers.” —The Globe and Mail