cover image Guy Time

Guy Time

Sarah Weeks. HarperCollins, $14.95 (176pp) ISBN 978-0-06-028365-0

In this simultaneously funny and poignant sequel to Regular Guy, Weeks returns to the life of 13-year-old Guy Strang. His parents have now separated--his father has moved to California, and his mother has been dating ""geeky types,"" including his science teacher and a fellow who can play three kazoos at one time (""one in his mouth and one in each nostril""). Worse yet, she has begun painting her fingernails green (""Looks like you stuck your fingers into something nasty, like a giant's nose,"" quips Guy) and is threatening to pierce her navel. When Guy's best friend, Buzz, urges him ""to quit moaning about your dad being gone and do something about it,"" together they type a letter on his mother's stationery, in which she apologizes to her husband and asks him to come home. The boys sign it with a lipstick kiss (after a hilarious scene in which they coat their lips and practice on scratch paper), then fax it to Guy's father. The missive does not, of course, produce the desired results, but sends a clear message nonetheless. Better grounded than its predecessor, this novel is similarly outr in its humor but contains a number of genuinely affecting passages--including Guy's reflections on his parents' split and his father's absence. Its deft balance of comedy and pathos and its credible characters will hit home. Ages 8-12. (June)