The Great Dad Disaster

Betsy Haynes, Author
Betsy Haynes, Author Yearling Books $3.5 (160p) ISBN 978-0-553-48169-3
Prebound-Sewn - 168 pages - 978-0-606-06426-2
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The Sturm und Drang of adolescent dating fuels this entertaining but anachronistic tale about eighth graders Scotti Wheeler and Lorna Markham, best friends who are continuously challenged by the whims of irritating fathers and clueless boyfriends. Scotti's beau, Cary Calheim, is perpetually preoccupied with rebuilding an old Mustang; Scotti's dad will barely let her out of the house. Lorna, meanwhile, has a permissive if embarrassingly jocular father, but her main squeeze, an athletic hunk named Mike Kilpatrick, has making out and maybe more on his mind. Haynes, who tackled the girls' problems with the maternal half of the parent equation in The Great Mom Swap (scheduled for simultaneous reissue), has a fine ear for dialogue, and she captures the ups and downs of teenage friendship and the school caste system with accuracy. But the novel could also use a few injections of reality--while the author does hint briefly and vaguely at such problems as drugs and teenage sex, her squeaky-clean, '50s-innocent saga is frequently naive. Ages 9-12. (June)
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