Half a Man

Title

Half a Man

Illustrator

Gemma O'Callaghan

Publisher

Candlewick Press

Publication Year

2015

ISBN

9780763677473

Pages

47 pages

Genre

realism

Format

chapter book

Item Type

Fiction

Annotation

From a young age, Michael was both fascinated by and afraid of his grandfather. Grandpa’s ship was torpedoed during the Second World War, leaving him with terrible burns. Every time he came to stay, Michael was warned by his mother that he must not stare, he must not make too much noise, he must not ask Grandpa any questions about his past. As he grows older, Michael stays with his grandfather during the summer holidays and learns the story behind Grandpa’s injuries, finally getting to know the real man behind the solemn figure from his childhood. Michael can see beyond the burns, and this gives him the power to begin healing scars that have divided his family for so long.

Grade Level

3-5; 6-8

Lexile Measure

770L

Diversity Topics

Family Relationships; Disability and Health; Family member death; Physical appearance; death of a grandparent; death of a grandfather; burns; scars

Main Character

male child

Race/Ethnicities

White

Family Formation

mother and father

Awards

Best Children's Books of the Year, 2016 Ages (9 to 12)
Distinguished Books, 2015 Fiction
Guardian's Best Children's Book, 2014 Best Book
Kirkus Book Review Stars, 2014
School Library Journal Book Review Stars, 2015 Picture Book
USBBY Outstanding International Books, 2016 Grades 6-8
English 4-11 Picture Book Award, 2015, Short List, Picture Book

Keywords

grandparent; veterans; World War II; British naval operations; island; war stories; bonding

Diversity Impact

direct

Half a Man

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