A Risky Game

Stephen Schwandt, Author Henry Holt & Company $0 (115p) ISBN 978-0-8050-0091-7
After her parents' divorce, pretty and intelligent Juliet is vulnerable and appreciates the attention of her writing teacher, Troy Conner. e involves her in an experiment; he will harass her in class and give her extra work. They will observe the reactions of other students. Juliet is gratified when her classmates protest Conner's treatment of her. But she's confused by his behaviorhe reneges on his promise to protect her from school authorities when she, as part of the plan, misbehaves. She knows she can't trust anyonewhich is Conner's intention. He tells Juliet that in Vietnam he was used by the government to leak secrets to the enemy, a set-up that left him forever wary of the concept of loyalty. The book itself resembles a game; readers are set up for a grand finale, but ultimately feel cheated. Juliet's reasons for going along with Conner never really mesh, and he comes off as two-dimensional. (11-up)
Reviewed on: 01/01/1986
Release date: 01/01/1986
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