The Guardian

Joyce Sweeney, Author
Joyce Sweeney, Author . Holt $16.99 (192p) ISBN 978-0-8050-8019-3
Open Ebook - 192 pages - 978-1-4668-7442-8
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Hunter LaSalle, 13, might as well be named Hunted: his foster mother, two of his foster sisters and the school bully are all out to get him. His best friend was his foster dad, Mike, and the story opens at Mike’s funeral. But when a motorcycle roars through the burial service, Hunter can’t shake the feeling that the rider is connected to a vision of the angel Gabriel that he had at age four. On impulse, Hunter prays to Gabriel for help out of a few jams and immediately good, nearly magical things start happening. Hunter wonders if this really is divine intervention or if he is losing it (“We all go crazy in different ways, I guess. Being religious is better than getting a handgun and shooting up the family, right?”). Sweeney (Headlock ) solves the mystery partway through, but replaces one source of tension with another to keep the pages turning. The plotting doesn’t quite pass the plausibility test, but Hunter is a sympathetic hero, and his honest narration and the plentiful action will pull readers through to the end. Ages 14–up. (Mar.)

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