Face the Dragon

Joyce Sweeney, Author Delacorte Press Books for Young Readers $14.95 (231p) ISBN 978-0-385-30164-0
Six gifted freshmen become an intimate group when they are singled out to participate in an accelerated program. After reading Beowulf as their first English assignment, the classmates decide it is time to face their own dragons by admitting and overcoming personal fears. Much of the story focuses on Eric, who is tired of playing follow-the-leader to confident, witty Paul. As Eric grows more independent and increasingly competitive, he becomes determined to win the heart of pretty Melanie Church, who has taken a sudden interest in Paul. When secrets are revealed and a long-term friendship is tested, Eric must reevaluate his attitudes and desires. Although some romantic aspects of this problem novel are fairly pat and predictable, characters' internal struggles prove to be more complex. Readers will be surprised by sudden twists in plot and will be moved by the book's gripping conclusion. While exploring how goals are set and attained, Sweeney ( Center Line ; Right Behind the Rain ) offers some provocative ideas about loyalty, courage and ambition. Ages 12-up. (Oct.)
Reviewed on: 08/29/1990
Release date: 09/01/1990
Mass Market Paperbound - 978-0-440-21246-1
Hardcover - 978-0-385-30206-7
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