PADDLE BATTLE

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Thirteen-year-old Finn is about to graduate from grade 8. Despite being one of British Columbia’s top U15 paddlers, lately Finn seems to have lost his touch. He feels lonely and is getting into disagreements with his crewmates, Niko, Chad, and Sanjay. Adjusting to life since his mother moved out has been hard for Finn—and to make it worse, his father is dating Ms. Putnam, Finn’s teacher, whose pretty daughter goes to school with him. With support from Coach Cooper and his kayaking friends, Finn slowly but surely starts to overcome his various hurdles, both internal and external. The author explores what this young teen goes through when faced with the breakdown of his parents’ marriage. From feeling angry and blaming himself to finding support through his peers, Finn’s character arc is well rounded. The realities of climate change and wildfires and their impacts on the younger generation are also seamlessly woven into the story. The main characters are assumed to be White; Sanjay’s name signals Indian ancestry.

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