GATHER by Kenneth Cadow

Thank goodness for awards! The National Book Award long list turned me into Kenneth Cadow’s extraordinary debut novel, GATHER. Tenth grader Ian Gray, a rural Vermont teen, has his hands full. Ownership of his family home is threatened, his mother’s fighting addiction and he’s alone in trying to solve these overwhelming problems. The first-person voice is astounding and the hero is remarkable, resilient and real. The sense of place allows understanding of why the need to remain on this land hounds and haunts Ian. His dog, Gather, is a powerful and needed touchstone.