The Landing by John IbbitsonThe Landing by John Ibbitson

The Landing

byJohn Ibbitson

Paperback | September 1, 2008

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Will Ben ever escape the Landing? The hardscrabble farm on the shores of Lake Muskoka can't generate a living, so Ben's Uncle Henry sells goods and gas to cottagers from the dock known as Cooks Landing. It had never been much of a living and since the Depression hit, it's even less.

Ben's thinking a lot these days, and it's making him miserable. He's thinking about how unfair it is that his uncle only cares about work. He's thinking about what he really wants to do: play the violin. These days, he's lucky to snatch the odd bit of practice between chores, playing to the chickens in the henhouse.

A new job fixing up the grand old cottage on nearby Pine Island seems at first to be just one more thing to keep Ben away from his violin. After he meets the island's owner, Ben changes his mind. Ruth Chapman is a cultured and wealthy woman from New York who introduces Ben to an unfamiliar, liberating world. After Ben plays violin for Ruth and her admiring friends, it only makes him more desperate to flee. Then, during a stormy night on Lake Muskoka, everything changes.
John Ibbitson is the author of Jeremy's War 1812 and other novels. He is the Washington correspondent for The Globe and Mail. His novel The Landing won the Governor General's Literary Award in 2008. John grew up in the area depicted in the The Landing.
Title:The LandingFormat:PaperbackDimensions:160 pages, 7.87 × 5.12 × 0.39 inPublished:September 1, 2008Publisher:Kids Can PressLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:1554532388

ISBN - 13:9781554532384

Appropriate for ages: 12


Rated 5 out of 5 by from A very Canadian read I wonder if this story would be appreciated more by older adults like me. I'm familiar with the history of Muskoka as a summer escape for the rich and I could easily I imagine the scenery. Ben's story of a teenager wanting to escape his small town environment is a familiar one but Ibbitson has woven it into a much richer tapestry. Highly recommended.
Date published: 2017-10-17
Rated 1 out of 5 by from Pass . . . I felt this book had lose ends that needed tying before it's conclusion ,the easiest way to depose of characters is to have them move away or die both of these happen ,I wanted closure between Ben and his Neighbor same as for his relationship with his Uncle ,I guess I wanted more for Ben than I got ,I would pass on this book .
Date published: 2009-11-08
Rated 3 out of 5 by from Charming and Inspiring The first thing about The Landing that caught my attention was its pricing. This is the only book that I’ve noticed costs the same in US dollars as it does in Canadian. Whether this is due to my not paying enough attention to the pricing of previous reads, or if this is just something obscure, I don’t know, but it was definitely cause for a little shock. My introduction to this young-adult novel was through The Toronto Star, announcing that it had won the 2008 Governor General's Award for children's literature. I was often reminded about it at work, as it was included on one of our showcase tables for some months, but I hadn’t had the occasion to hear any personal reviews for it. None the less, as I am a fan of all things Canadian, I put a hold on it at the library, and picked it up. The first quarter of the book, I must admit, did seem a little slow to start, and I found myself wondering how it could possibly keep a teenager interested, if I was struggling. As it continued I started to become a victim of its charms, and grew fond of the young Ben and his determination towards learning the violin. As I often do, I played all of the referenced music on my computer whilst reading the passages, to try and obtain the true essence of the character's situation. This proved to be helpful in determing the tone of various scenes, and I would recommend other readers do the same if they have that option. Set in the years following the depression, Ibbitson descriptively illustrates the hardships associated with those harsh times. The relationship that Ben forges with a neighbouring socialite is both painful and inspiring, as he dreams of one day leaving The Landing in Muskoka. As is often the case with growing up in a rural area, he is torn between his obligation to his struggling family and persuring his dreams. The last few chapters will have you on the edge of your seat, as the novel takes an unexpected turn at its climax. Slow start and all, I am hopeful that Ibbitson will have a vision for a sequel.
Date published: 2009-01-22
Rated 5 out of 5 by from A new Canadian classic. For all ages. As I read this marvellous book, the novel that came to mind was W.O. Mitchell's "Who has seen the Wind." Unlike the boy who grows up with the ever-present horizon of the prairie, in Ibbitson's coming of age novel, the entity is the lake, as much burned into the protagonist's soul as the love of his mother, the memories of his father, the depression era Canada in which he lives, or his passion for the violin. The lake is his constant companion, his highway to adventure, the one whose refreshing waters soothes him in troubling times. Every summer, his lake has elegant suitors - the rich cottagers who arrive to grace its islands for a couple of months and then flee back to the safety of their cities when the weather turns. Staying behind are the poor hardworking families who settled the area generations before, who found the land unfarmable and who likewise should have fled, but remained, captivated by the northern forest, the granite-crested hills. . . and the allure of the lake. For me, this is that best sort of story, one that takes place in a single summer - a summer in which a boy has the experiences that lets him discover who he is and leads him towards the door of manhood. The Landing is a wonderful novel. I recommend it to anyone who in some special summer looked into the shimmering water off the end of a dock and caught a glimpse of the adult they would soon become. Paul Harbridge Author, Helena's Voyage
Date published: 2008-11-19

Editorial Reviews

This novel, like Lake Muskoka, is deep. Character-driven, suspenseful, and historically accurate, it is both realistic and symbolic.