Paper Knife

Marc Talbert, Author Dial Books $14.95 (184p) ISBN 978-0-8037-0571-5
As in his two preceding novels, Toby and Thin Ice , Talbert's protagonist is a troubled 10-year-old boy. The author tackles the problem of sexual abuse in his usual forthright, yet acutely sensitive fashion. Jeremy and his mother, who was battered by her boyfriend, George, take refuge in the home of George's parents. Although life is calm in his new home, Jeremy is on edge, constantly fearful that George will return and force him to take part in his terrifying ``games.'' Jeremy writes on a sheet of paper what George made him do, and carries it with him as a weapona ``paper knife''to show to authorities should George harass him. But the paper ends up in the wrong hands and Jeremy's mother thinks that the malefactor is Mr. Williams, his new teacher. In a book for adults, Talbert could have let the plot run chillingly amok. But since this is a story for middle readers, he has let it have a more benign, although not unalloyedly happy, ending. Once again, the author distin guishes himself with his clear, matter-of-fact gaze at the problems of childhood. With empathy, he evokes the violent, frequently conflicting, emotions of a young victim of sexual abuse. Ages 9-up. (October)
Reviewed on: 11/03/1988
Release date: 11/01/1988
Genre: Children's
Paperback - 184 pages - 978-0-595-19803-0
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