cover image Trouble Half-Way

Trouble Half-Way

Jan Mark. Atheneum Books, $11.95 (129pp) ISBN 978-0-689-31210-6

Carnegie Medalist Mark's latest is a simple, unpretentious story of reconciliation and understanding between a young girl and her stepfather. When Amy's grandfather becomes ill, her mother must leave to stay with her grandmother, and Amy is left in the care of her stepfather, Richard. Richard is a longhaul truck driver, and he decicdes to take Amy on his route with him. Amy is both frightened and embarrassed, and Richard is irritated by her lack of self-esteem. Slowly, as Richard's route takes them to the north of England, Amy and Richard learn about each other, and at the end of the story, Amy has gained confidence and Richard an ally. The story's simplicity is marred by the extensive use of British terms and phrases, not all of them adequately explained in the glossary. A pleasant story, whose setting is more confusing than enhancing. (9-12)