A Band of Angels

Julian F. Thompson, Author Scholastic $0 (294p) ISBN 978-0-590-33780-9
Thompson's new novel is stagey and melodramatic, unlike his remarkable debut in The Grounding of Group 6. A woman friend of a couple who commit suicide takes their baby and keeps on the move. She's evading government agents who suspect the two might be hiding papers containing the formulae for a ""super-virus.'' The child's parents have died to prevent its use in germ warefare and the secret is still safe, 14 years later. Then the unofficial guardian of the boy known as Jordan Paradise is killed by a hit-and-run driver and he's alone in a strange town. Riley Ropux witnesses the tragedy and she takes Jordan to her home where he meets a third teenager, Michael. The three get permission from Riley's father to drive across the country, a trip devoted to soul-searching and plans to avert a third World War. On the way, they pick up two more dropouts, a boy and a girl. The ``band of angels'' are tailed by two FBI men and the story's climax occurs at a confrontation in a wilderness, a scene almost predictable. So is the attraction between Riley and Jordan that idealistic Michael resents, the conflicting views of the pursuers and other plot contrivances. (12-up)
Reviewed on: 01/01/1986
Release date: 01/01/1986
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