cover image The Book of Changes

The Book of Changes

Tim Wynne-Jones. Orchard Books (NY), $15.95 (0pp) ISBN 978-0-531-09489-1

Seven fresh tales from the author of Some of the Kinder Planets focus on what seem to be ordinary events: a frantic search for inspiration for a class project, a chance to appear a hero to a younger child, the tyranny of a class bully. Yet with his prowess for crafting each tale so that it neatly comes full circle, Wynne-Jones makes the quotidian well worth reading about. In ""Dawn,"" the standout of the volume, two strands of plot are affectingly joined together. Here a boy named Barnsey is traveling on a bus when he meets Dawn, who lets him listen to a special audiocassette. Days later, after learning that his parents are divorcing, the boy discovers that while he slept Dawn had slipped the tape into his bag, and he is able to pass her soothing gift on to his hurting father. The characters' on-target thoughts and banter attest to the author's familiarity with-and compassion for-today's kids. Ages 8-12. (Oct.)