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Death Benefits

3.72  ·  Rating Details ·  312 Ratings  ·  40 Reviews
Royce (aka Rolly) is having a bad year. Not only has his mother dragged him across the country in order to be close to her aged father Arthur, a celebrated cellist, but he's also recovering from mono. When he convinces his mother to let him finish the school year by correspondence, he's left feeling isolated and lonely, and spends his time watching TV and plotting ways to ...more
Paperback, 212 pages
Published October 1st 2010 by Orca Book Publishers
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Andreea Arsene
Apr 18, 2015 Andreea Arsene rated it liked it
Shelves: read-in-2015
It was a cute, funny and quick read. Not something very impressive, but still it was fun to read it. Also it reminded me about my grandmother before she died, just like Royce, I had to take care of my grandmother. The ending was a little bit sad, and I actually cried.
Sep 14, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Ein wehmütiger Überraschungsgast

Da lag er heute als ich von einer kleinen Reise zurückkam, schneller als erwartet, doch gerne willkommen geheißen.
Ein Buch über Royce, Arthur, Nina und ein paar andere. Arthur ist 95, ein berühmter Cellist war er, jetzt ist er ein grantelnder Alter. Hauptsächlich ist er alt und bei dem ungewöhnlichen Leben, dass er führte, kann ich mir nicht vorstellen, dass ihm das gefällt. Seine Tochter Nina ist extra seinetwegen nach Britisch Columbia gezogen, weil er halt nic
Dec 12, 2016 Leslie rated it it was amazing
From the cover and the title of this book, you would think it is a murder mystery. It's definitely not. This is the story of a 16-year-old boy who agrees to help his mother by helping to take care of his 95-year-old grandfather. They have nothing in common. The teenage boy has been brought up correctly, but being a teenager is sometimes quarrelsome. The old man is almost never appreciative of what the young man is trying to do. But they learn to get along, sometimes enjoying each other's compan ...more
I’m no stranger to old age. My paternal grandparents come to visit every few years, my maternal grandparents stayed for a good 3 months this past year, I took care of my octogenarian grandaunts in July last year, and I volunteered at a long-term care facility in August. In fact, I’m writing this review in the guest room, where they stayed, and they certainly have left their mark.

Well, let me tell you about my own maternal grandfather. He was pretty sharp in his youth--think he was a colonel in
Ina Vainohullu f
"Zuerst: Ich heiße Royce Peterson. Einen zweiten Vornamen habe ich nicht. Als ich zwölf war, startete ich eine Kampagne, um meinem Namen Isaac oder Ichabod anzufügen, sodass ich die Initialen R.I.P. gehabt hätte, aber Mom wollte den Änderungsantrag nicht unterschreiben. Sie meinte, zwei Namen seien genug." Seite 17


Einst war Arthur ein gefeierter Cellist, bei den Menschen beliebt, immer auf Tour. Heute, im Alter von 95 Jahren ist er ein Grandler, ein sturer alter, leicht dementer Mann, de
Sep 30, 2016 Lara rated it liked it
Der 17-jährige Royce muss in Victoria/Kanada noch einmal von vorn anfangen. Weil sein betagter Großvater nicht mehr allein leben kann, sind Royce und seine Mutter von der Ostküste nach Victoria gezogen. Seinen Kumpels aus Lunenburg trauert der Junge noch immer nach, neue Freunde hat er noch nicht kennengelernt. Großvater Arthur konnte man schon immer schwer etwas rechtmachen. In kürzester Zeit hat er es sich mit seiner Tochter verdorben und die privaten Pflegerinnen vergrault, die sich um ihn kü ...more
Jennifer Wardrip
Reviewed by Sally Kruger aka "Readingjunky" for

Royce can't believe it when his mother announces that they are leaving Nova Scotia and heading clear across the country to Victoria, British Columbia. He is going to be leaving behind all of his friends and the only home he has ever known, all for some grouchy 95-year-old grandfather he hardly remembers.

If moving isn't bad enough, Royce is shocked when his mother says she will pay him to act as caregiver for his grandfather until sc
Joe Kline
Nov 11, 2012 Joe Kline rated it liked it
Summary Tease
Royce, who everyone calls Rolly, has been dragged across the country by his mother because his famous aging grandfather needs care. Recently his grandfather has had a small stroke and needs someone else there to help him. After many hired aides quit because of his constant ridicule or perverseness, Rolly is put up to the task with the help of a nice paycheck. At first Rolly hates the old man, he almost wished he would die so he could take his vintage car and drive back to his frien
Sep 29, 2013 Jasmin rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Royce zieht mit seiner Mutter von Lunenberg nach Victoria. Der Vater,ein in der Vergangenheit sehr erfolgreicher Cello-Musiker,hatte einen Schlaganfall. Somit muß sich Royce Mutter Nina nun um ihn kümmern. Dies erweist sich leider als sehr schwierig da Arthur (so heißt er) nicht sehr pflegeleicht ist. Er ist leider ein sehr verbitterter alter Griesgram. Er behandelt seine Töchter nicht gut und ist ansonsten auch sehr egoistisch.
Royce Mutter schafft es leider mit der Pflege vom Arthur nicht allei
Arthur die Artischocke

Royces Großvater ist ein Ekel wie es im Buche steht. Offenbar von sich und der Welt enttäuscht, schnauzt er alles und jeden an, ist mit nichts zufrieden und Mitmenschlichkeit scheint ein Fremdwort für ihn zu sein. Doch ist er mittlerweile in einem Alter, in dem es ohne Hilfe nicht mehr geht. Seine Tochter ist nicht in der Lage, sich in der Form um ihn zu kümmern wie es notwendig wäre. Und die Pflegekräfte, die sie ihm vermittelt, vergrault er bereits nach kurzer Zeit. So bl
Jul 29, 2012 Sherri rated it liked it
Sixteen-year-old Royce Peterson (nicknamed Rolly) was forcibly moved all the way across Canada, from Nova Scotia to British Columbia so his mother could to be closer to help his 95-year-old grandfather after he suffers a stroke. However, Rolly’s grandfather, Arthur, is even more the cantankerous, egotistical man now than he was in his early years when he toured the world as famous cellist. His touring lifestyle resulted in distant relationships with his two (now grown) daughters and a non-existe ...more
Diane Ferbrache
Dec 30, 2010 Diane Ferbrache rated it really liked it
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Keny Gutierrez
Apr 29, 2015 Keny Gutierrez rated it it was amazing
The name of the book is "Death Benefits." The author is Sarah N. Harvey. The book is about a 16 year old boy who gets hired by his mom to babysit his 95 year old grandpa. They start off not getting along with each other. Royce later finds out that his grandpa Arthur is a famous cellist. They get invited to a fancy dinner. Royce, his mom Nina, and Arthur get picked up in a limo.On the way to the party all of the adults start drinking. The morning after Arthur starts to have strokes. Royce would s ...more
Elissa Hoole
Sep 12, 2010 Elissa Hoole rated it liked it
This was an emotionally true-to-life story about a teenage boy caring for his dying grandfather, who most certainly is not going gentle into that good night. Because the aging cello extraordinaire has suffered a stroke and needs daily care, Royce is forced to move with his mother all the way across the country to help, leaving all his friends behind. When his mom is unable to find a nurse willing to care for the cranky and handsy former musician, Royce takes the job as a way to earn the money to ...more
Dec 04, 2011 Sabrina rated it liked it
Not bad but not "oh-mah-gawd" good. It was just ... okay. I read this book because it was White Pine and I thought I'd give it a shot (and to prove Canadians rule). I was, satasfied. I didn't really have high hopes for this books so it left me feeling okay (Now I need to read Son of Neptune again).

Basically, this book is about family and it is a heart-warming tale. Do you have a grandparent or other elderly influence in your life? If you do, you might relate to this book. It features this guy (s
Jan 21, 2011 Hilary rated it liked it
Under protest, 16-year-old Royce moves from Nova Scotia to British Columbia with his mother. Once they settle in, Royce contracts mono and is housebound. Stir crazy, lonely, bored, and friendless, Royce accepts his mother’s offer to look after his grandfather, Arthur, for $15/hour. Royce hopes to earn enough money to return to Nova Scotia.

Arthur is a grouch, retired (world famous) cellist. Despite the barrage of verbal abuse Arthur heaps upon Royce, Royce is surprised to find that he likes his g
Jan 25, 2014 Jennifer rated it really liked it
Shelves: fiction, read-2014
I thoroughly enjoyed this book about a boy emotionally adrift and his challenging grandfather. Arthur, on the face of it, has only his musical talent and celebrity-strewn past going for him and has been a lousy family man, unmellowed by old age and infirmity. The generations are thrown together by Royce's need for cash and occupation and Arthur's need for a carer he won't sexually harass into quitting in days. Sarah Harvey could have made a saccharine tale out of this but cleverly sidesteps that ...more
Read this for Ashli's book club. It wasn't bad, but I didn't care for Rolly. I liked Arthur though. The story was pretty good. The setting/background characters didn't feel real. It may be because it was set in Canada and their ways are not ours, but it felt like the readers politics and religious views bled over into every character in the book. It felt really ham-fisted in places.

I put this on my YA shelf because it was presented to me as YA and can be found in the children's library. 13 is d
Feb 03, 2011 Tracie rated it liked it
Royce's Mom drags him across Canada to care for her aged and difficult father. When all other avenues are exhausted, Royce agrees to become his caretaker - as long as he gets paid. His grandfather is a cranky, sometimes spiteful former world famous musician and Royce doesn't enjoy the job. But as time goes by, they do sort of find a way to bond and when his grandfather has a series of strokes, Royce, and his Mom, have to come to terms with their respective feelings and relationships with the ol ...more
Jan 09, 2012 Kendra rated it it was ok
Interesting concept. I like how Royce went from practically hating his grandfather to appreciating him. It was good to see that grandchildren can see the good in their grandparents. I did not like how crass everyone was. There was love, but it was buried deep. It's too bad when you see this kind of a family in literature. Too much foul language and inappropriate conversations/actions for my liking.
Oct 10, 2012 Mary rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: Teen boys looking for realistic fiction, reluctant readers
Shelves: teen
Royce and his mother have moved across Canada to take care of his ornery grandfather who is in the early stages of dementia. To make some money, Royce becomes his caretaker 5 days a week. He likes the money, but not the company. Slowly, though, Royce and his grandfather develop a grudging friendship. This was a well-written and enjoyable book that also illuminates the difficulties in taking care of older relatives suffering from end-of-life maladies.
Danie P.
Mar 02, 2011 Danie P. rated it really liked it
Shelves: y-a
Definately for an older teen as there a few mentions of anatomical parts that might make younger ones giggle or uncomfortable.

Royce gets a summer job watching his grandfather who has dementia. Every day for 6 hours he goes over gets yelled at, makes cafe au lait, and surpringly starts getting along with his grandfather. His grandfather, a famous cellist in his time, slowly bonds with Royce as they go on adventures. This is a funny, heartbreaking novel of imminent death.
Jan 16, 2012 Sarah rated it liked it
Shelves: young-adult, canlit
I'm not really sure what to say about this novel. I really enjoyed it, and as a personal choice, would probably rate it a 4/5, but I can't really see my teenaged students enjoying it.

Royce's experiences of dealing with his grandfather are much more what adults deal with. I'm not sure how many teens could relate to the situation he finds himself in.
Aug 13, 2015 Sasquatch rated it really liked it
Shelves: ya, young-adult
A touching story: a book for young people about old people. It wasn't an action-packed exciting book but it had so much else to offer. Any teen who is close with someone with demential will feel a special connection with this book. This novel delves into many important issues such as euthenasia and expressing how you truly feel. I loved watching the main character develop through the novel.
Bryan Davis
Jun 08, 2011 Bryan Davis rated it it was amazing
I read this book in two sittings because I couldn't put it down. It tells the story of a teenage boy's unlikely friendship with his 95 year old, ornery grandfather. It's an extremely funny and sometimes emotional tale. I definitely recommend it for anybody looking for something lighthearted and entertaining.
Oct 02, 2012 Shanella rated it really liked it
I thought it would be a lot like Gran Torino, except the characters would actually be blood related. I don't normally read books about a grandfather and his grandson but I was surprised with how much I like it.
Jan 27, 2011 Ruth rated it it was ok
i felt that the ending stretched too long, and i know this is just me but i don't really see the conflicts being completely tied up. this book also felt like a poor knock-off of that book Drums, Girls, and Dangerous Pie.
Mar 14, 2012 Ray rated it it was amazing
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Clara Dearmore Strom
May 02, 2011 Clara Dearmore Strom rated it it was amazing
Shelves: young-adult
Great read for teens and adults. Royce meets his 95 year old grandfather and ends up taking care of the cranky old man who just happens to be a world renown cellist. Witty dialogue and real life situations that will make you cry and laugh out loud.
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“After you hit puberty, it's just one thing after the other until the day you die. You have some good years in your twenties, after you've stopped embarrassing yourself constantly and before your back goes out and your knees start to creak. And those are just the physical things. They say as you get older, your essential nature is revealed. Sort of like a balsamic reduction of the soul.” 1 likes
“An urn? What's wrong with, like, a big margarine container? Or an ice-cream pail? We're just going to scatter the ashes, right? It's not like we're going to put them on the mantelpiece or set up a shrine.” 1 likes
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