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Sunday, November 11, 2012

Jump Cut, written by Ted Staunton. Orca Publishers, 2012. $9.95 ages 10 and up

"Mister Bones trots all over the place. GL is right: at this rate it'll take another seventy-five years - if we don't get eaten by bears of flattened by a train first. Luckily we're equipped with spray paint, grass clippers, phones with no signals and a Chihuahua; everything you need when you're looking for the graveyard of a ghost town in the northern bush."

This is the third book I have read from Seven the Series. It is a quick read and stands alone, as do the others. Reading them as a set adds some context as they each tell of a specific journey organized by David McLean for each of his seven grandsons, to be undertaken following his death and the reading of his will.

Award-winning author Ted Staunton has selected to tell Spencer's story. He is an aspiring filmmaker, and his Grandfather David has asked him to find an elderly film star, named Gloria Lorraine and get a cheek kiss from her on film:

"I like  movies, too. My all-time favorite movie star was Gloria Lorraine. Ask your mom if my liking Gloria L wasn't a family joke. Gloria Lorraine is older than me, Spence, but as I write this, she's still alive and kicking. I want you to go and see her - I know you can find her with the Internet and all - and get her to give you a kiss on the cheek. Tell her it's for me, a sentimental favor."

It is a strange request; but, Spencer is up to the challenge and heads off to find Gloria in a retirement home in Buffalo. Dull in comparison to the tasks set for the other six grandsons, Spencer is sure it will take five minutes and he and his Dad will be on their way home again. He has no idea the surprises that are in  store for him.

Once he arrives, he learns why Gloria is still alive and kicking. She's got spunk, and she wants Spencer to join her in an adventure that includes her granddaughter, a loony mobster who is also a baker, and a little dog named Mister Bones. The four are off in Al Capoli's Cadillac to northern Ontario to unearth a family secret; it turns out it has a connection to Spencer's grandfather. It also gets them involved with gangs who are fighting over a drug deal gone wrong. 

It reads like a film, and includes some written film scenes at opportune places in the tale.  Filled with action and mayhem, Spencer finds himself wondering about the reality of the whole thing. It takes a stop at the Superior Motel in Marathon before Spencer learns the connection that Gloria has to David McLean, and why the trip is so important to the old woman. He realizes that his interest in film is the reason his grandfather sent him on this quest. 

There is humor aplenty, and some scary bits, and mystery...it isn't until close to the end of the story that we realize there is a connection between Spencer's journey and that of his brother, Bunny (aka Bernard). It is sure to lead interested readers to Bunny's story...Ink Me by Richard Scrimger. On we go!

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