Outside Looking in

James Lincoln Collier, Author
James Lincoln Collier, Author MacMillan Publishing Company $13.95 (179p) ISBN 978-0-02-723100-7
Reviewed on: 03/31/1987
Release date: 04/01/1987
Once more Collier has given an outcast from society center stage to show younger readers that they may exert control over their lives. Fergy, 14, lives with his family in a van; his father, J. P., believes that because ""the system'' cheats everyone, he is entitled to ``reclaim'' items the family needs, like the van and food. But when J. P. reclaims a luxury motor home (belonging to people who have been kind to the family), Fergy decides to run away to the home of his maternal grandparents, whom he has never met, with his little sister in tow. J. P. comes after them, but Fergy's mother decides that she, too, has had enough. Most of the characters in this novel are richly realized, especially Fergy, who longs for a normal life and schooling. The one problem is that J. P. is unrelentingly mean, and his nonconformist philosophies sound more like slick rationales than sincere ideals. It's hard to believe his wife would love him in the first place, or have put up with him for so long. Ages 10-14. (April)
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