cover image Skeeball and the Secret of the Universe

Skeeball and the Secret of the Universe

Barbara Hall. Orchard Books (NY), $0 (232pp) ISBN 978-0-531-05722-3

In the summer before their last year in high school, Matty and his best friend Cal vow to accomplish ""something important.'' Although neither boy knows what that will be, Matty, a nostalgic dreamer, believes that there must be more to life than day-to-day existence. By mastering the outdated arcade game Skeeball, pursuing beautiful Jennifer and avoiding a summer job, Matty hopes to come closer to life's hidden truths. Despite various disappointments, he stays true to his vision and discovers that growing up doesn't have to mean abandoning his hopes and dreams. Although somewhat predictable, this poignant coming-of-age story is engaging and well written. Matty, wisecracking and resolutely unfashionable, is a genuinely likable character. This is a tribute to the romance of teen life in a small beach town. Ages 12-up. (September)