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May 26 , 2011

The Cornerstone


Every life has a cornerstone. Some are made of clay, some are made of rock, and a few are made of duty, honor and blood.

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A Short History of Brazil

The recorded history of Brazil is brief when compared to most European countries, having been discovered by Portuguese sailor and explorer Pedro Álvares Cabral just over five hundred years ago. Since then, however, its history has been turbulent, blighted by rebellion, cruelty, dictatorship and poverty. But, it is also a vibrant, exciting and…

It’s 1944, toward the end of the Second World War, but far away from the action. Ian McKenzie, a bright fifteen-year-old street kid ready to take anyone on, has been sent to a Puget Sound summer camp to be straightened out. Andy Ackerman, the counselor assigned to the camp’s charity cases, is a young man fresh from the war in the Pacific, angry, demanding, unorthodox, dangerous.

Ian and his cabin of outcasts spend the summer building a chimney for the camp’s lodge, while all the other boys are enjoying camp life, water sports and forgetting about the war. Through Ackerman’s tough love and the sharing of a strenuous task, Ian learns to solve problems, from discovering and unearthing rocks for the chimney’s perfection to finding a way to get along with a street kid from a rival neighborhood. He gains pride and a sense of honor and, as Ackerman unveils his dark secrets, Ian learns to cope with fears and responsibilities he’s never imagined. Most important, he learns how to care for someone else and to care about his own life. It is tragedy that forms the cornerstones of Ian’s life and make this novel something truly special and moving. 

This coming-of-age story is framed by Ian’s return to the camp nearly fifty years later, as a naval admiral, and his eventual discovery of Ackerman’s final secret.

“ … emotionally powerful and skillfully crafted.”    Library Journal

“Platt creates a moving relationship that survives the ravages of forty-eight years, and provides an inspirational ending.     Publishers Weekly

“Excellent story which keeps interest high … Recommended highly.”

Children’s Book Review Service









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