Monkey Tag

Pete Fromm, Author
Pete Fromm, Author Scholastic $14.95 (336p) ISBN 978-0-590-46525-0
Reviewed on: 10/03/1994
Release date: 10/01/1994
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A near-tragic accident redefines the relationship between identical twins in this uneven novel. Playing with a group of friends, 12-year-old brothers Thad and Eli Martin indulge in a forbidden game of monkey tag, which involves swinging hand-over-hand along the steel girders underneath the high school bleachers. A terrible spill paralyzes Thad from the waist down, leaving Eli consumed with guilt and with aching doubts about the existence of God.The religious themes are handled somewhat clunkily; the Martins go to church regularly but don't know how to help Eli with his anger at God, and dialogue often sounds more like snatches of a '50s TV show than the conversation of a real family. However, Fromm (Indian Creek Chronicles) renders the family's struggle to deal with the aftermath of the accident with honesty and authenticity, and he draws the relationship between the boys tenderly yet grittily. Ages 9-12. (Oct.)
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