The Ninth Issue

Dallin Malmgren, Author Delacorte Press $0 (181p) ISBN 978-0-440-50124-4
Blue is frustrated and angry when he has to transfer in his senior year to a large Texas high school from his small one in Missouri. After failing a perfunctory tryout for the football team, he winds up in a journalism course that puts him on the staff of the school paper. From there on, Blue's story becomes just one of the subplots in the goings-on in Mr. Choate's journalism class. Choate (whose characterization is uncomfortably idealized) inspires his students to turn the paper into a popular publication, if not a vehicle for controversy, earning the enmity of a rival teacher and the school administration. Choate's students rally to save his job, and all ends happily, with them winning prizes, scholarships and true love. After Malmgren's sparkling debut with The Whole Nine Yards , this one is a disappointment, with an unfocused third-person narrative, superficial characterizations and spiritless descriptions. It's unfortunate, because the book's basic premiseabout the rights and responsibilities of high school journalistsis timely and had it been better handled, the plot could have been absorbing. Ages 12-up. (Mar . )
Reviewed on: 01/01/1989
Release date: 01/01/1989
Hardcover - 978-0-385-29691-5
Mass Market Paperbound - 978-0-440-20734-4
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