Those Other People

Alice Childress, Author Putnam Publishing Group $14.95 (186p) ISBN 978-0-399-21510-0
Rather than begin college, Jonathan, 17, becomes a high school computer instructor, hoping to avoid facing his homosexuality or thinking about his problems. But he is resented by teacher Rex Hardy, who disrupts Jonathan's classes, as does Spencer, a poisonous youth who hates the school's new (and only) black students, Tyrone and Susan Tate. Then Hardy assaults Theodora, Tyrone's computer-lab partner. Theo is determined to press charges for attempted rapewith Jonathan and Tyrone as her only witnesses, and Susan in possession of crucial evidence. Jonathan is caught up in a maelstrom of malicious gossip, threatening phone calls and pressure from the school board, but at last must act for himself. Childress ( A Hero Ain't Nothing but a Sandwich , Rainbow Jordan ) deftly interweaves the first-person narratives of 10 characters to create a penetrating examination of bigotry and racism. Each voicefrom the most sympathetic to the most odiousrings with conviction, and all come together in the fabric of a compelling tale. Ages 13-up. (Jan.)
Reviewed on: 01/01/1989
Release date: 01/01/1989
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