James Sauer, Author Delacorte Press Books for Young Readers $14.95 (260p) ISBN 978-0-385-30034-6
To narrator Richard, 16, getting by, not principles, is what matters. It's a mystery to him why his nine-year-old brother Hank saves cans for bums to collect, and is in love with Emily, their odd new neighbor. (Richard is even more puzzled when the rest of the family, as usually happens, goes along with Hank's strange notions.) Richard finds himself befriending Emily's sister Allie, who winds up being his partner in their class tennis tournament. Stratton, the local bully, is paired with Richard's self-centered girlfriend, who relishes telling Richard how mad Stratton will be if he loses. The already perplexed young man gets in even more hot water when he ignores Allie, who is suddenly popular after getting her braces off and a new haircut. But Richard's difficulties pale when Hank becomes gravely ill, and suddenly the ``little'' things that Hank took seriously assume a different dimension. Sauer's moving, seemingly offhand narrative--with its many trenchant observations--shifts so effortlessly from comedy to drama that readers may be shedding tears before they know what has hit them. Ages 12-up. (Apr.)
Reviewed on: 03/01/1990
Release date: 03/01/1990
Genre: Children's
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