From Publishers Weekly
A seventh-grader is torn by his conflicting feelings for his abusive father. PW's starred review of this National Book Award nominee said, "Griffin's pointedly jarring dialogue and keen ear for adolescent jargon have a magnetic quality few readers will be able to resist." Ages 10-up.
Copyright 1998 Reed Business Information, Inc.
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From School Library Journal
Grade 6-8. The Kindle family?abusive, manipulative Dad; agoraphobic Mom; sons Rock and Cliff; and little sister Brontie?live in a rundown summer cottage where Dad can keep them relatively isolated as they try to cope with his tantrums and hostility. Cliff seems to have some understanding of what is going on, while Rock attempts to bury his "disloyal" thoughts in his obsession with the American Revolution. When the boys' friend Liza, herself the victim of an abusive stepfather, has finally had enough, the brothers help her run away to New Haven, where she disappears. Cliff works with his mother to help her overcome her fear so that she can drive the car when they are ready to escape their situation. Clueless adults abound in this depressing mix of angst and abuse. Rock verbally lashes out at his mother as his sense of frustration and despair grows. Readers are given to believe that her anguish over Rock's contempt provides her with the impetus she needs to confront her problem and overcome it in a remarkably brief time. Chapter titles such as "The Sugar Act," "Without Representation," and "Midnight Ride" attempt to relate the brothers' situation to that of the historical Sons of Liberty. Rock is the focus of the story, but it's difficult to feel any sympathy for him; his vacillation at the end of the book over whether to stay or run is simply annoying, not climactic. This book has neither drama nor insight to offer in exchange for readers' time.?Elaine Fort Weischedel, Turner Free Library, Randolph, MA
Copyright 1997 Reed Business Information, Inc.