Smoke from the Chimney

Kathy Kennedy Tapp, Author Atheneum Books $12.95 (169p) ISBN 978-0-689-50389-4
Erin's family is under siege; her father is an alcoholic and steals money from them all to buy liquor. When he's drunk, he enjoys a fire in the fireplace, and Erin learns to look for smoke from the chimney, a sign she has grown to hate. Erin tries to escape from family problems by creating a complex play world based on the Edgar Rice Burroughs Tarzan booksshe is Bal-Za, Tarzan's daughter, fighting it out in the jungle. Erin and her friend Heather stage a jungle puppet show, trying to earn money so that Erin can go to summer camp. But Erin's mother, who has thrown Erin's father out of the house, lands in the hospital with high blood pressure from worrying, and needs Erin's money to buy a car. She hopes that having a car will give the family independence and a new start. Erin has written down all of Bal-Za's adventures, yet can't find an ending for her story. She learns that a strong fatheras strong as Tarzanisn't very realistic, and by letting go of her jungle world, takes her place as a sharing, caring family member. Except for some scenes of comic relief that feel contrived, this is a remarkably lively, psychologically adept story. (9-12)
Reviewed on: 04/01/1986
Release date: 04/01/1986
Paperback - 169 pages - 978-0-689-71323-1
Prebound-Other - 978-0-8335-4488-9
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