The Truth about Kim O'Hara

Erika Tamar, Author, Robert Lacey, Author Atheneum Books $14.95 (186p) ISBN 978-0-689-31789-7
Andy Szabo, the teenage New Yorker featured in It Happened at Cecilia's , returns in this sequel set during his freshman year. Andy starts dating a reserved Vietnamese-American girl, Kim O'Hara, about the time his parents buy a historically choice, but run-down townhouse in Greenwich Village. The building's restoration, which involves peeling layers of paint, wallpaper and tile, neatly parallels Andy's attempt to break through Kim's ``icy exterior'' in order to understand her fears and perfectionist tendencies. Readers may not be able to guess all the details about the girl's past before her secrets are revealed, but it is fairly obvious from the beginning that she has suffered wartime trauma. Tamar's foreshadowing is a bit overdone, and her presentation of Kim borders on the melodramatic; nonetheless, her descriptions of New York and its high school scene are vividly authentic. Ages 11-14. (Oct.)
Reviewed on: 09/28/1992
Release date: 10/01/1992
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