Author(s): Ulf Stark
Grandpa’s in the hospital and hating it. He swears at the nurses and makes trouble for everyone. Dad finds it too stressful to visit, but Gottfried Junior visits Grandpa as often as he’s allowed, and when he’s not allowed, he goes anyway.
Grandpa thinks only of the place he was happiest—the island where he lived with Grandma. He wants to go back one last time, but they won’t let him out of the hospital.
Gottfried Junior and Grandpa take things into their own hands. If running away is the only way to the island, then they’ll be runaways.
Grandpa hates being in hospital. He swears at the nurses, rings the bell constantly, loathes the food and just wants to visit the island again where he was happiest living with Grandma. But his heart is so weak that he’s not allowed to leave. Gottfried Junior is the only one in the family who loves to visit his feisty Grandpa.
“Perhaps you should run away,’’ he suggests one Saturday. And so the rascally pair hatch a plan for a one-night adventure...
Stark’s beautiful story of the special bond between grandfather and grandson is an absolute delight. He handles subjects of family tensions, morality, grief and death with warmth and humour. One of his other wonderful junior novels, Can You Whistle, Johanna?, features a similar inter-generational theme. Crowther’s (Stories of the Night) raw coloured-pencil illustrations portray the characters, warts and all.
It’s perfect for age 8+ and an ideal class read-aloud.