The Silent Treatment

David Carkeet, Author HarperCollins Publishers $13.95 (280p) ISBN 978-0-06-020978-0
This first YA novel by Carkeet (The Greatest Slump of All Time) is so subtle that readers will be enmeshed long before they realize where the story is heading. Ricky Appleton has always been a good boy and, as his parents are, evermindful of the opinions of others. Almost despite himself, he becomes best friends with Nate, the school loudmouth who claims to care little for what people think about him. Together they plan to solve the mysterious riddles that lead to the $2000 prize in Ragtown's annual treasure hunt. Even though Ricky's parents don't express their displeasure directly, they don't want the friendship to continue. There are many other things they won't talk about, either. And why is there such animosity between Mr. Appleton and the father of Cindy, a girl whose constant presence bewilders Ricky? Ricky finally realizes that just as it takes courage to speak for oneself, silencejudiciously grantedcan be invaluable, too. Although its subtext is serious, the smoothly flowing narrative is good-humored and spiced with amusing observations. Carkeet has a good ear for dialogue and creates realistic, idiosyncratic charactersRicky's priggish older brother, for example, is a loathsome masterpiece. Ages 12-up. (June)
Reviewed on: 01/01/1988
Release date: 01/01/1988
Paperback - 978-0-06-447014-8
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