The Canasta Capers, Companion Volume I
by Steven Swerdfeger
Cloth Edition: $29.95
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ISBN: ISBN: 1-932842-07-1 (cloth)
ISBN: ISBN: 1-932842-08-X (paper)
Publisher: Star Cloud Press
Year of Publication: 2005 (Originally published in 1996 under the title Thursday’s Child)
Format: Cloth or Paperback
Page Count: 359
Haunted by a recurrent dream that echoes the moments before the tragic deaths of his parents from an accident caused by a drunken driver, David Andrews must relocate to Midville to live with his Great-Aunt Lillian Biggs.
As David grieves his loss, he struggles to find a place in his new community, mid with the unwelcome intrusion of a bully and the harshness of two faculty members at the Midville Middle School. Several new friends, however, come to David's rescue and assist him in his determination to find a non-violent way in which to relate to the school bully, and through their common struggles and adventures become an intrepid Gang of Four.
An Opening of Heart, Companion Volume II
Because They Think They Can, Companion Volume III
What others have said:
"Steven Swerdfeger has an eye for the details of everyday school rules and rituals that allows him to place his precocious hero and his "Gang of Four" in a convincing setting. Because he also has a feel for the fun that comes from the camaraderie of young people bucking the system, his central theme of a search for fairness and justice in life is rendered lightly. Swerdfeger remembers what it is like to be young and discovering adult hypocrisy for the first time, so he can increase the appeal of his young bunch when he creates richly comic grown-up nemeses for them to challenge. What is more, he knows how to ground the comedy in more muted and serious emotions: the smartest boy in town must confront problems for which there are no easy intellectual solutions, and in the end even the school bully has his own story to tell."
— Paul Howe, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
"This is a gentle story, told with engaging warmth. Swerdfeger weaves a tale of four middle school children who deal with real life issues, from cutting in on lunch lines to tragic car accidents. Through these experiences, David Andrews learns to turn enemies into friends through compassion."
—Joseph Downing, Syracuse, New York
Originally published in 1996 under the title Thursday’s Child, and later accorded Finalist Honors in the 1997 SMALL PRESS BOOK AWARDS.
About the Author:
STEVEN SWERDFEGER was born in Massena, New York, on July 13, 1948. He attended local public schools, later entering the State University of New York at Oswego, where he earned his Bachelor of Arts degree in American literature. He also holds a Master of Arts degree in religious education from Princeton Theological Seminary and a Doctor of Philosophy degree in creative writing from the Union Institute & University in Cincinnati, Ohio.
His various career interests have included child care work, teaching high school English, creative writing, church music, hypnosis and guided imagery, college teaching, and publishing.
He is married to Martha Grout Swerdfeger, a physician who serves as Medical Director for the Arizona Center for Advanced Medicine in Phoenix, Arizona, and who practices under her maiden name Martha M. Grout.
(Steven Swerdfeger photo by Matthew Marchisano)
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