Last Chance Summer

Diana Wieler, Author
Diana Wieler, Author Delacorte Press Books for Young Readers $15 (0p) ISBN 978-0-385-30317-0
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Fourteen-year-old Marl is given one last chance to prove to himself and to Cecile, his counselor, that he can keep out of trouble and prevent the authorities from placing him in a foster home. Cecile gets Marl temporary lodgings in Englishman Carleton Jenner's group home, shared with 12 other boys of similar backgrounds. Marl's self-indulgent attitude prevents him from adjusting and getting along with the other boys. Realizing Marl's inabilities to fit in, Jenner introduces him to Goat, the oldest and seemingly most responsible boy. Their burgeoning friendship withstands a series of trials, as each event strengthens their bond. Painfully, Marl confides some of his intimate thoughts to Goat, whose advice gives him the courage and strength to face his problems. Wieler's first YA novel elicits strong emotional responses. For those like Marl seeking happy endings, she says, there are no guidelines to follow--but knowing that there is someone who understands and cares makes the journey meaningful. Ages 12-up. (May)
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