cover image The Year of the Gopher

The Year of the Gopher

Phyllis Reynolds Naylor. Atheneum Books, $16 (202pp) ISBN 978-0-689-31333-2

George's ambitious parents are always pushing him to be someone he's not. When it's time to apply to college, his father, a partner in a law firm, will only be satisfied if George goes to Harvard, Yale or Princeton. Fighting back the only way he knows, George sabotages all his applications and announces in a rage that he won't go to college at all. His pride forces hiim to stick to what he's said, and he takes a job as a ""gopher'' in a plant nursery. When his boss shows her amorous intentions, George quits and braves the Minneapolis winter to be a bicycle messenger. Along the way, he settles on a career path. And his parents finally come to accept him and his younger brothera slow learneras they are. Naylor has written a sensitive, wryly funny story with penetrating insights into relationships and coping with unrealistic expectations. (12-up)