cover image Family Pose

Family Pose

Dean Hughes / Author Atheneum Books $14.95 (184p) ISBN 978-0-6

Hughes, best known for his Nutty books, has written a unique, tender story of a young runaway who is befriended by a hotel staff. David, 11, leaves his foster home and a few days later slips into the Hotel Jefferson. Paul, a lonely, older ``bellboy,'' finds him sleeping, and the two become friends; Paul offers David shelter and food, and introduces him to trustworthy staff members. High-spirited Rob and Elaine, maternal Betty and beautiful Melissa all care for David. They assure him that Paul's social worker friend could help if David would only talk to him, but David believes there are no solutions. However, his cynicism wanes when Paul steps out of his loneliness and takes David in. Hughes relies upon precise narration and natural-sounding dialogue to convey his tale; in an era of sensationalized stories of neglected children, this is a poignant look at a a boy's search for family. Ages 8-12. (Apr.)