Skipping School

Jessie Haas, Author, Emanuel Schongut, Illustrator Greenwillow Books $14 (181p) ISBN 978-0-688-10179-4
Haas's ( The Sixth Sense and Other Stories ; Keeping Barney ) ability to convey emotion through action and her eye for telling details give this heartfelt novel its subtle power. With his father ill with emphysema and his mother compulsively cleaning house and embroidering, there isn't much comfort in his new suburban home for Phillip, 15. He begins drifting out of school early every day and heading off to an abandoned farmhouse in the woods, where he chops firewood (a chore from bygone farming days) and cares for a pair of kittens that were slated for destruction. But with the school authorities on his trail and winter fast approaching, Phillip can't continue hiding from reality. During a lonely and frigid night at the farmhouse, he finally comes to terms with his father's mortality. And when he returns home transformed, the boy finds the love, understanding and hope that he thought had vanished. Spiked with equal parts of humor and pathos and rounded out with strong, well-fleshed characters and a splendidly evoked New England landscape, this is a book to savor. Ages 12-up. (Oct.)
Reviewed on: 09/28/1992
Release date: 10/01/1992
Show other formats
The Best Books, Emailed Every Week
Tip Sheet!