Circle Within a Circle

Monte Killingsworth, Author Margaret K. McElderry Books $14.95 (139p) ISBN 978-0-689-50598-0
At 14, Chris has spent the past nine years being shuttled from one foster home to the next, ever since his mother's death from cancer and the car accident that killed his father that same day. After an altercation with a particularly overbearing foster parent, Chris runs away. He hitches a ride with Chopper, a Vietnam veteran, NASA engineer and Chinook Indian en route to a Northwestern beach considered sacred by his tribe. Chopper and other Native Americans join forces to stop businessmen from turning the land into a resort complex, and Chris, too, contributes to the effort. Despite these adventure-story elements, Killingsworth ( Eli's Songs ) squarely focuses on his characters' spirituality and inner growth. The point of view shifts between Chris and Chopper, two lost souls who develop a potent kinship. Chris finds purpose and self-worth; Chopper carries out the mandates of his ``visions.'' Although the prose can be self-conscious--Chopper, for example, sees a heron: ``As big as life. In the city. A sign''--it also achieves a meditative dignity and heft. Ages 12-up. (Mar.)
Reviewed on: 02/28/1994
Release date: 03/01/1994
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