John MacLean, Author Houghton Mifflin Harcourt (HMH) $13.95 (175p) ISBN 978-0-395-43080-4
Mac is a normal teenager, with normal concerns: he's infatuated with the new girl at school. Then, during a school-mandated physical exam, Mac is sexually assaulted by the male doctor. Suddenly, he begins to strike out at friends, family, teachers; he becomes withdrawn, depressed and angry. Fearful that he will be blamed for the incident, or thought homosexual, he maintains a rigid silence until a perceptive counselor figures out what happened. This sensitive novel gains immediacy and credibility from its first-person, present-tense narrative. Unfortunately, the author gives his characters such choppy thought fragments that the language overwhelms the story: ""I turn off the tape. Hang the headphones on the end of my bed. And roll over and try and go to sleep. But I can't. I keep thinking about Jenny. Not daydreaming or stuff like that. It's just like she's around. Kind of like a shadow. Even when I think I'm thinking about other things. . . . '' Unlike recognizable patterns of speech or thought, this staccato delivery is distracting and weakens a moving story. Ages 12-up. (October)
Reviewed on: 09/30/1987
Release date: 10/01/1987
Genre: Children's
Mass Market Paperbound - 978-0-380-70700-3
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