Squaring Off

Leonard Todd, Author, D. Brodie, Editor Viking Children's Books $13.95 (192p) ISBN 978-0-670-83377-1
It's the late 1950s, and 13-year-old Willy Stamp lives with his widowed father, Trag, in Savannah, Ga. Their camaraderie is challenged when the newly arrived LuJane Jessup, a gorgeous stripper, performs at a local bar. An immediate attraction forms between Trag and the young woman, although he initially resists it. Willy's accidental meeting with LuJane leaves him equally smitten, and he decides to test his prowess by courting her as his ``practice girl.'' LuJane's kindness soon changes that, however, and Willy is determined to win her over for real. This coming-of-age story is slow-going at first, but its undeniable poignancy renders the required perseverance worthwhile. Todd's graphically realistic narrative sends the reader back in time, and his keenly defined characters evoke the essence of the deep South. Trag, the rugged, handsome bricklayer, and LuJane, the good-hearted ecdysiast, may be stereotypes, but they have personalities that are distinctly their own. Ages 12-up. (Oct.)
Reviewed on: 10/01/1990
Release date: 10/01/1990
Genre: Children's
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