Although sports enthusiasts in particular will be attracted to this story about a competitive swimmer, Duder writes for a larger audience. In addition to examining the makings of a champion, she profiles a teenaged feminist who breaks the boundaries of her conservative society in 1959. Fifteen-year-old Alex Archer is a multidimensional character whose dedication to sports does not preclude a wide variety of other interests, concerns and ambitions. Qualifying for the New Zealand Olympic team is only one of the pressures Alex endures. She must also contend with slanderous gossip, the failing health of her beloved grandmother and then the death of her boyfriend. Even in the darkest moments, Alex's spirit remains undaunted. Her griefs and triumphs are beautifully expressed through clear narrative interspersed with stream-of-consciousness excerpts. Readers will not fail to be uplifted by this talented writer's thoughtful novel. Ages 10-14. (Sept.)
Reviewed on: 09/01/1989 Release date: 09/01/1989 Genre: Children's
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