cover image The Trouble with Mothers

The Trouble with Mothers

Margery Facklam. Clarion Books, $13.95 (135pp) ISBN 978-0-89919-773-9

When Luke and best friend Buzz interview Major Madison, a visitor in town promoting his book The Cleaning of America , they assume he is an army officer trying to clean up the environment. Luke learns later that the Major wants to ``clean up'' the local schools and libraries of books he disapproves of and that Luke's mother's book is being singled out as a target. The town is embroiled in controversy; Luke struggles to control his anger toward his mother as the debate spills into every aspect of his life. But when Luke finally reads his mother's book, The Passionate Pirate , he realizes how uninformed the Major's followers are. The author's presentation of censorship is approachable and effective; she never oversimplifies the conflict. Particularly acute are her observations about the ways people are pushed into taking sides, as well as Luke's realistic development from reluctant bystander to caring participant. Ages 10-14. (Apr.)