Torch

Jill Paton Walsh, Author
Jill Paton Walsh, Author Farrar Straus Giroux $15 (0p) ISBN 978-0-374-37684-0
Reviewed on: 04/01/1988
Release date: 04/01/1988
In a time and place that might be in the future but feasibly could have been in the past, Walsh writes of two teenagers, Cal and Dio, who are put in charge of a torch when its old guardian dies. Dio is possessed by the idea of finding the torch's true resting place, and so they begin a journey, accompanied by some friends from their village and taking on others along the way. Some of the people they meet allude to the idea that this torch has come from the fires of the last Olympics; the teenagers are, rightfully or wrongfully, taken as the true torchbearers and find themselves involved with corrupt Games. The torch, they find, has mysterious waysit only flares up when someone is doing something purely for the love of the act, not for glory. The conceptual landscape of Walsh's journey is powerfully drawn and full of provocative questions about the meaning of sports and sportsmanship. It is a gripping story, both as an adventure and as a timeless quest, with no foreseeable end or any easily inferred answers. Ages 12-up. (April)
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