cover image Lizard


Dennis Covington. Delacorte Press Books for Young Readers, $15 (198pp) ISBN 978-0-385-30307-1

Even though Lucius (``Lizard'') Sims suffers only from a facial deformity and other birth defects, his guardian sends him off to the State School for Retarded Boys because she is getting married and wants him out from underfoot. When a man claiming to be Lizard's long-lost father takes him out of the institution, he's off on a series of tragicomic adventures that include an interstate chase, his first--unrequited--love, his acting debut (in The Tempest ), murder, fraud and a kind of homecoming. With bold originality, Covington's finely crafted first novel explores the time-honored themes of gaining worldly wisdom and resolving adolescent fears of being different. with bold originality. Throughout his tumultuous, sometimes violent and often funny escapades, Lizard maintains his goodnatured outlook, even in the painful throes of losing his innocence. Lizard is an intriguing cross between Candide and Huckleberry Finn. Ages 12-up. (June)