Tunes for Bears to Dance to

Robert Cormier, Author Delacorte Press Books for Young Readers $15 (101p) ISBN 978-0-385-30818-2
Eleven-year-old Henry is largely on his own after his brother's death: his family has moved to a new city, his father has slipped into depression and his mother waitresses long hours to support the family. In this vacuum, the boy attracts the malignant attention of his employer, a grocer who tries-almost successfully-to coerce Henry into an evil act solely for the twisted pleasure of corrupting innocence. Cormier has powerfully captured Henry's isolation and especially Mr. Hairston's gratuitous, petty, and yet not inconsequential meanspiritedness-the character's reflexive misanthropy, manifested in dozens of small unkindnesses each day, is chilling. The man's greater scheme, which requires Henry to ruin the handicraft of a concentrationcamp survivor who has few other sources of pleasure, is less gripping, in large part because the plan, and Henry's even fleeting acquiescence in it, seem logistically and psychologically far-fetched, as if they were conceived not by the characters but by Cormier in his wish to convey a thematic concern. Ages 12-up. (Oct.)
Reviewed on: 08/31/1992
Release date: 09/01/1992
Genre: Children's
Prebound-Glued - 112 pages - 978-0-7857-3021-7
Prebound-Glued - 101 pages - 978-0-7807-3923-9
Mass Market Paperbound - 112 pages - 978-0-440-21903-3
Prebound-Other - 101 pages - 978-0-606-06831-4
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