cover image Speeding Bullet

Speeding Bullet

Neal Shusterman, Neal Schusterman. Little Brown and Company, $14.95 (200pp) ISBN 978-0-316-78905-9

``You have to believe in yourself,'' Nick's teachers at N.Y.C.'s Harrison High are always saying. But the 10th-grader tells himself that it's ``better to fail by design than risk failing for real.'' However, fate seems to have other plans for Nick when he rescues a girl from being hit by a subway train. After he saves a man from a burning building, Nick feels that he has a mission as compelling as that of his favorite comic-book character. He gains local fame and the welcome attentions of gorgeous, willful Linda Lanko, daughter of New York's biggest real estate developer, who whisks him into the heady milieu of the social elite. Mr. Lanko pricks the bubble of Nick's repeated heroism with some sobering information, and the boy finds himself seemingly bereft of his powers when they're most needed--until he looks within himself. Shusterman ( Dissidents ; The Shadow Club ) here creates a fast-paced modern parable with compelling characters and true-to-life dialogue. He is to be commended for allowing readers to puzzle out the question of divine intervention for themselves. Ages 12-up. (Jan.)