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Kirkus (Kirkus Reviews, 1991)
In a plot device that is becoming familiar, a new stepparent is the reason that a child--here it's 12-year-old Andy, in San Francisco--ventures into the streets, where he discovers that the world is more wicked than anything he has faced at home. Having run away, Andy makes camp in the luxury suite of a nearby hotel, to which he has found a key. He periodically phones his real father, in London, hoping he'll send air fare. But Fred (of the hotel staff) cuts short Andy's plans, homing in on his faked kidnapping and making it all too real. Shortwave radio is the means for Andy's rescue; Paul, the "wicked" stepfather, is forgiven. Largely contrived, and, though Andy's uneasiness with his mother and Paul's sexuality is clearly compelling, any realistic exploration of his perfectly believable feelings is pushed aside to make room for the hollow, feel-good ending. 1991, Harcourt Brace Jovanovich, $15.95. © 1991 Kirkus Reviews/VNU eMedia, Inc. All rights reserved.
Betsy Hearne (The Bulletin of the Center for Children's Books, April 1991 (Vol. 44, No. 8))
Stories of running away from problems at home coincide with many children's fantasies, and twelve-year-old Andy Dubin's hideout--a penthouse hotel suite to which he's found the key--will add to the appeal of this suspense novel. Andy is successful at avoiding the maid who cleans the seldom-used suite, but there's a more ominous employee on his trail, one who makes sinister use of Andy's own idea for a ransom note that would extort money from his mother in order to visit his father in England. Andy's first-person narrative reveals not only his own moral ambiguities, but also acute glimpses into the personalities of his mother, of the stepfather he resents so bitterly, and of the father who has essentially abandoned him and a new family in England as well. Bunting's plot development is practised and her style polished; this will be a natural choice to booktalk as a thriller companion to Dean Hughes' realistic Family Pose (BCCB 3/89). (Reviewed from galleys) Review Code: R -- Recommended. Subjects: Mother-son relations; Stepparents, adjustment to. (c) Copyright 1991, The Board of Trustees of the University of Illinois. 1991, Harcourt, 144p, $15.95. Grades 5-7.
|Language||Call Number||LCCN||Dewey Decimal||ISBN/ISSN|
|English (eng)||PZ7.B91527 Hh 1991
0152339906 : $14.95|