The Kite — W.O. Mitchell

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Every once in a while, you come across a book you know is special. One that makes you sad when, part-way through the story, you realize it can be savoured but once. For true children of the prairies, this is such a story.

The book’s jacket reads as follows:

W.O.Mitchell’s The Kite is the warmly humorous portrayal of one-hundred-and-eleven-year-old Daddy Sherry, the boy who loves him, and the city journalist who comes to the Alberta footill town of Shelby to interview him. Writer David Lang expects to rediscover the past through Daddy Sherry’s eyes. Instead he finds a key to the present in this fiercely independent, original Canadian whose adventures stretch from the Days of Louis Riel to the great goose hunt of his 100th birthday celebration.

What would you expect of a 111 year old man? Fragile? Grouchy? Stubborn? Perhaps someone who has learned to use his age to be a bit manipulative?

For sure, all of the above and more. But Mitchell goes a bit further, exploring that elusive and undefinable secret of living to be 111 years of age.

Published in 1962. Very well written and commensurately entertaining. I highly recommend it.

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