Whistle Me Home

Barbara Wersba, Author Henry Holt & Company $15.95 (128p) ISBN 978-0-8050-4850-6
At the start of her junior year at her Long Island high school, Noli is simply swept off her feet by the new boy in her class. The son of a famous writer, T.J. has ""Greek-god"" good looks that are surpassed only by his brilliance and squeaky-clean morals. Best of all, he seems taken with Noli, despite her tomboyish appearance. Writing in an unusually graceful present tense, Wersba (Tunes for a Small Harmonica) fills the beginning of her novel with tender depictions of Noli falling in love ("" `Falling' is the right word--because she feels like she is tumbling through space and may never land. She feels sick, lightheaded, dizzy, and she is sinking like an elevator into depths she has never known before""). At the same time, she gives the reader enough information to know that something is seriously wrong with Noli and T.J.'s romance, and no one (except Noli) will be surprised by the revelation that T.J. is gay. Noli takes the news hard: she slides into serious drinking bouts (the description of which, unfortunately, has a movie-of-the-week flavor that doesn't jibe with the earlier, careful exploration of Noli's personality and feelings). But Noli comes through her trials a stronger, more independent individual, and readers will believe in her. Well-versed in the spiraling highs and lows of young adult emotions, Wersba paints a wistful, intriguing portrayal of modern-day unrequited passion. Ages 12-up. (Mar.)
Reviewed on: 03/03/1997
Release date: 03/01/1997
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