Bruce Brooks, Author
Bruce Brooks, Author HarperCollins Publishers $13 (70p) ISBN 978-0-06-020728-1
Reviewed on: 08/29/1990
Release date: 09/01/1990
The heart attack and near-death of the narrator's grandfather are the focus of Brooks's new novel, a lyrical, mystical excursion into the realm of the spirit and a testament to the power of hope and love. The events of the novel are not in themselves momentous. Spanning a single day, the plot concerns the efforts of another boy, Dooley, to effect a ``spirit switch'' that will save the old man by sacrificing a turtle in his stead. Although Dooley loses his nerve at the crucial moment, the narrator learns this only belatedly, by which point the kindly subterfuge has indeed worked a sort of magic. Brooks's ( The Moves Make the Man ; No Kidding ) achievement lies in the degree to which readers, along with the narrator, will suspend disbelief and begin to trust in Dooley's mysterious and clearly improvised ministrations. His active insistence that the grandfather can and will be saved proves totally compelling. And the precise prose throughout paints a memorable portrait of a sensitive, reflective child, while highlighting the large and small moments from which the closest human ties are forged. Ages 9-up. (Sept.)
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