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Assigned to write his autobiography, high school senior Rob Radkovitz decides to "listen" back on his life. As he remembers the voices of his younger self, his quirky family, and his closest friends, one stands apart -- the haunting voice of his long-absent father, left behind on a single tape from one of his radio shows.
As he searches the airwaves for his father's show, Rob is determined to not only listen to the voices he has heard all his life, but to really hear them -- and to try to make sense of the painful decisions that were made so many years ago. . . .
Paul Fleischman makes sure that he takes time to play bocce-ball with his friends and to play musical instruments whenever he can, even though he is a busy young adult novelist and children's book writer. Paul never dreamed that he would become a writer when he was older. Growing up in sunny and bright California, he liked to spend his time outdoors. He never really thought about what he wanted to do when he grew up. In fact, he wrote his first book called THE BIRTHDAY TREE right before he was about to graduate from college and realized he needed to have a job when he finished school! His father writes novels also, and Paul remembers him reading his own books to the family. Paul's family spent a lot of time together playing games and telling stories to one another. They never watched television together, but would sit in the living room together after dinner. That's where Paul got some of his inspiration when he decided to write the books, JOYFUL NOISE: POEMS FOR TWO VOICES and I AM PHOENIX: POEMS FOR TWO VOICES. He believes that there's education in the pleasure of being (and reading!) with others. Paul doesn't think about the age of his readers, but just writes what he feels compelled to write. He feels that the best place for him to get some really good thinking and writing done is where it's very quiet. He usually strives to write for about eight hours a day. Paul's historical novels, which include GRAVEN IMAGES and SATURNALIA, take a lot of research. In fact, he spends as much time researching and planning the books as he does to write them. As he says about writing historical novels, "It takes a lot of fat books to write a thin one!" Although Paul didn't think he was going to become a writer, he says that the idea of writing for children wouldn't have ever occurred to him without his father as a mentor. A fun fact: both Paul and his dad love history--and the stranger it is, the better!
"The brilliant construction--voices only, with no narrative interference--allows the text to build to extreme emotional crescendos as Rob works through his feelings of abandonment and recovery, and it also allows each character to speak directly to the reader as a distinct individual. A splendid, smart, and savvy addition to YA literature."
"[D]espite the plurality of perspectives, Rob's story is coherently and touchingly delivered. The thematic aptness of the narrative structure will be apparent to readers, and some will hear echoes of Thornton Wilder's OUR TOWN in this multivocal and retrospective chronicle."
"If SEEK has any faults, it is the complaint often made of public radio itself. Everybody is so charming and good and decent, nobody seems quite real....On the other hand...if SEEK were a radio show instead of a book, I would have pulled off to the road, parked and sat there, transfixed, to the very end."
From the Publisher
Assigned to write his autobiography, high school senior Rob Radkovitz decides to "listen" back on his life. As he remembers the voices of his younger self, his quirky family, and his closest friends, one stands apart -- the haunting voice of his long-absent father, left behind on a single tape from one of his radio shows. Told in a collage of past and present voices, Seek follows Rob's obsessive search for his father, pursued not through San Francisco's streets, but through the labyrinth of the airwaves. Open the cover and listen in -- to psychic readers and pirate DJs, and to Rob's transforming views of his past and future.