cover image Political Timber

Political Timber

Chris Lynch. HarperCollins, $14.95 (176pp) ISBN 978-0-06-027360-6

Once more proving his versatility, Lynch shifts gears from the brooding, violent atmosphere of his Native Son trilogy with this cheeky, effervescent tale about a teenager thrust into the world of adult politics. Gordie Foley wants nothing more than to coast through the remainder of his senior year, hanging out with his friends and cruising in the Studebaker Gran Tourismo Hawk his grandfather ""Fins"" has lent him. But there's a catch: Fins, the former town mayor, is in prison for racketeering and he wants to regain control of local politics by having Gordie run for mayor. Unable to turn down his beloved Da and afraid of losing the Hawk, Gordie reluctantly goes along with Fins's scheme and finds his life spinning out of control. As ingenuous as he is ignorant (he doesn't even know many people live in his town and is shocked when he sees his casual comments as headlines), Gordie eventually discovers how inconsequential he is to those who wield the real power behind the scenes-and that there's only one thing he can do to buck the system. This fast-paced and characteristically wry narrative, with its cast of wonderfully realized characters-particularly sultry girlfriend Sweaty Betty and a radio shock jock-and its hilarious jabs at politicking, is a rousing antidote to election-year apathy. Ages 10-up. (Oct.)