Pamela Curtis Swallow, Author . Millbrook/ Roaring Brook $15.95 (176p) ISBN 978-0-7613-1790-6

Swallow (No Promises) introduces a sympathetic and candid young narrator in this skillfully shaped novel that examines the consequences of acting impulsively. Thanks to ample humor and a carefully measured dose of pathos, the book avoids didacticism. On the eve of Kat's first day in seventh grade, her beloved dog, Cheddar, is struck by a car passing by her home. The following day, the devastated girl becomes so desperate to check up on her pet at the veterinary hospital that she sneaks out of school early and "borrows" an unlocked bike from the rack. When she leaves the hospital, Kat discovers that someone has stolen the "borrowed" bicycle—now she's in double trouble. Soon, her reputation is in jeopardy, when word of the incident leaks out at school and the police inform her that she might be a suspect in additional bike thefts. The author adds further dimension to her tale with affecting portrayals of Kat's relationships with her friends, with her parents and sister and, most poignant of all, with the Alzheimer-suffering woman whose car hit Cheddar, along with her kind and patient husband. The story's multiple layers enable the author to entertain while sending a well-targeted message about the importance of both being a good friend and thinking before leaping. Ages 8-12. (Mar.)

Reviewed on: 03/03/2003
Release date: 01/01/2003
Library Binding - 176 pages - 978-0-7613-2866-7
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