The Genuine Half-Moon Kid: 9

Michael Williams, Author
Michael Williams, Author Dutton Books $15.99 (208p) ISBN 978-0-525-67470-2
Reviewed on: 07/04/1994
Release date: 07/01/1994
Where Williams's Crocodile Burning evoked the anger and torment of South Africa's black population, this equally provocative saga captures the emotional turmoil of South African whites witnessing the rebirth of their country. Jay Watson, a confused white teen, finds refuge from his ``crazy'' family and worrisome politics: after hours, he submerges himself in the cool water of the gigantic fish tank at the fish hatchery where he works. When he is notified of an unusual inheritance from his drifter grandfather, however, Jay leaves his seascape fantasies to confront a real world filled with danger and uncertainty. Accompanied by three unlikely companions, he embarks on a quest to find the mysterious yellow box that is rightfully his. The places on his route--the home of a rich uncle, an impoverished township, an orphanage and a writer's retreat deep in the jungle--open his eyes to hypocrisy and injustice within his homeland. Ultimately, his journey proves to be as significant as the family secrets locked in Grandfather Watson's precious box. Addressing issues of tyranny, greed, child abuse and personal salvation, this timely, suspenseful novel sheds light on political upheaval and its psychological effects. Ages 12-up. (July)