Two Weeks with the Queen

Morris Gleitzman, Author Putnam Publishing Group $14.95 (141p) ISBN 978-0-399-22249-8
This isn't at all the carefree story implied by the title and cover artwork--terminal cancer, AIDS, gay-bashing and death are treated tenderly here, in appropriate middle-reader fashion. Colin Mudford, an Australian boy, suspects that his parents favor his younger brother, Luke. When Luke collapses suddenly and is hospitalized, Colin wistfully imagines he has a malady of his own. Yet upon hearing that Luke will die of cancer, Colin sets out to find a doctor to cure him. Sent to live with relatives in England, Colin first tries soliciting the Queen's help, then approaches hospital physicians. He eventually meets Ted, a homosexual whose lover is dying of AIDS. Colin and Ted support one another through a difficult time (including Ted's assault by homophobic thugs), which enables Colin to shed his self-centered ways and allow a brave, resourceful and loving person to emerge. Gleitzman's liberal sprinkling of humor prevents the novel from becoming too dark. While the progression is slow at first, and several Australian expressions (``sooky,'' ``sticky-beaking'') may perplex readers, the material's topicality makes this a special book. Ages 8-12. (Mar.)
Reviewed on: 03/04/1991
Release date: 03/01/1991
Genre: Children's
Compact Disc - 978-1-74093-797-9
Paperback - 240 pages - 978-957-32-6690-7
Paperback - 127 pages - 978-0-14-130300-0
Paperback - 978-0-06-440482-2
Hardcover - 978-0-7540-7816-6
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Compact Disc - 978-1-74311-470-4
MP3 CD - 978-1-74311-542-8
MP3 CD - 978-1-74319-562-8
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