Skip to content Skip to navigation

Shoulder the Sky

TitleShoulder the Sky
Publication TypeBook
Year of Publication2002
AuthorsChoyce, Lesley
PublisherDundurn Press
ISBN Number1550024159
DescriptorsDeath; English Language; Families; Friendship; Grief; Nova Scotia; Novel; Young Adult

In this young adult novel, Nova Scotia author Lesley Choyce confronts issues of adolescent grief. Sixteen year old Martin Emerson finds himself unable to express his reaction to his mother's death following a lengthy illness. His father and his sister, grieving in their own ways, are slowly becoming more and more withdrawn from one another. Martin's unconventional psychiatrist, his friend Darrell, and his website, slowly help him heal and find the strength to bring his family back together.


Nova Scotia

Age Range


Author Profile: 

Martin Emerson’s mother died, but to everyone around him, Martin seems not to care about her death. His odd behaviour causes his friends and family to be concerned. In order to cope with his newfound questions about the meaning of life, Martin creates a webpage entitled, which quickly garners a large number of followers. However, Martin’s work on his website causes his personality to split into three parts – the first being the “nerd” at school, the second being his anonymous identity on the web, and the third is the Martin, who represses his memories, particularly memories related to the death of his mother. When the family take a trip to Alaska, Martin is forced to confront his grief and must bring all three Martins together into a single, new identity.