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The Chemo Kid Hardcover – April, 1992

3.9 out of 5 stars 8 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

The first few chapters of this novel promise a run-of-the-mill account of a brave and likable boy's struggle with cancer. Soon, however, the tale changes course and becomes an unwieldy but intriguing examination of the connections among drugs, sports, big business and politics. When the egg-shaped lump Fred discovers below his ear turns out to be cancerous, the boy begins an experimental course of chemotherapy. Gradually he becomes aware that the treatment has made him into a superhero of sorts--there are moments when his senses are extraordinarily heightened and he is possessed of unusual physical strength. Putting his newfound powers to use, Fred organizes a two-pronged attack on the high school's bullies and the factory that has polluted the town's reservoir. Unlike the gritty, streetwise individuals that people such Lipsyte novels as The Brave and The Contender , Fred's cohorts and enemies alike have little life aside from the big ideas for which they stand. These one-note characterizations give the novel a cartoonish quality that detracts from the power of its timely arguments. Ages 12-up.
Copyright 1992 Reed Business Information, Inc.

From School Library Journal

Grade 7-9-- This story begins realistically as high school student Fred Bauer discovers he has cancer and ends up in the hospital full of needles and sick from the chemotherapy. As usual, Lipsyte's images here are right on target, and will cause readers to flinch. Equally effective are his portraits of the other young patients, observed in Fred's first-person narration. The story shifts, however, when the boy returns home. First, in a story line straight out of a Frank Capra movie, Fred finds that his girlfriend, Mara, is caught up in an investigation of illegal toxic waste dumping; the entire town has sunk into a pit of corruption and only Fred, Mara, and a few others see the truth. More surprising, though, is the fact that Fred develops superhuman powers, ripping down steel fences, throwing 300 pound weights around, and swimming across the lake in a flash. The point of this is to show that the mind is more powerful than matter, and certainly mightier than Fred's disease, which is ultimately cured. But all the diverse elements don't blend together well, and the New Age message is overdone. --Todd Morning, Schaumburg Township Public Library, IL
Copyright 1992 Reed Business Information, Inc.
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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 167 pages
  • Publisher: Harpercollins Childrens Books; 1st edition (April 1992)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 006020284X
  • ISBN-13: 978-0060202842
  • Product Dimensions: 0.8 x 6.2 x 8.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 7.2 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 3.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (8 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #7,191,793 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Robert Lipsyte is an award-winning sportswriter for The New York Times and was the Emmy-winning host of the public affairs show The Eleventh Hour. He is the author of a number of acclaimed novels for young adults, and is the recipient of the Margaret A. Edwards Award honoring his lifetime contribution in that genre. Robert Lipsyte lives in New York.

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

A Kid's Review on February 22, 2001
Format: Hardcover
This book was pretty good. The reason it was good is because it was about a boy with a rare disease. It showed how he overcomes all the problems he had to face in having the disease. He still had a girlfriend too, so he had to keep that relationship going while he was practically living in the hospital. He gets pulled in to a type of nature-loving group that fights pollution that his girlfriend is involved with. And it starts showing the whole story uncover while he goes on adventures with his girlfriend as they try to stop pollution.
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Format: Paperback
I rate this book a four star book. This book had some very ecciding events that were very surprising, in other words it was an intresting book. This book was more than it can happen if you used to read an action comic book. Some events seem like only superman could do it, not a simple kid with cancer on his neck. Well it was not that bad of a book what I'm trying to say is that some parts ded catch a atention for that whole sene. Some parts had so many detials that i could even picture what was going on inside my head. It was like it was happining to my in real life in other words like if a was the main character of the book. That was what i liked about this book it had ecciding part, emotional, physical, events that had so much details that even if a grown up would of read it to there little kids even they would picture it in there mind detail by detail. It's a very good book that's what the only thing i can say. I still have alot to say about this exellent book but i just can't find those perfect words to discribe what an exellent master piece this autor has created for anyone with a good emaganation.
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Format: Paperback
This book starts out like a tale of keep a positive attitude and the world is your. Later in the book, the positive attitude is not rewarded, Fred (the main character) has his Rare form of cancer come back, o.k. this is where the book really becomes that inspiring story. Fred or Frad as the Cancer Doc calls him, is selected to be part of an experimental chemo therapy. the Chemo, which has never been tested on humans does something amazing. It turns his skin green and gives him powers unlike the Hulk. After this, Fred's Best friend now new found love gets involved in some situations and persuades Fred to join the environmental saving cause she is perusing and then things get started. Filled with action and love and emotion this book is amazing. I remember reading it the first time when I was 15 in '95' and thinking Robert is the Shizz-Nie-It!!!!~!!!!~!!!! Read it and remember, Fred is living in all of us. We just have to draw him out.
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By A Customer on July 17, 2000
Format: Hardcover
I recommend this book to anyone who is interested in football. Another reason why I prefer this book is that it teaches being patient and waiting for something you need really need to get better. In the book, Fred's mom Anna says to Vandal " If you take steroids stay away from my son.'' I also learned if you hang around someone that is stupid, you will get caught, and he won't. If you are around someone that you know will get in trouble, don't talk to them, don't do anything with them, and don't even talk about them. " As another friend of Fred, Tank Roger, says while the championship game is going on, " Save your energy for the second half bud, were up 14 zip and it looks like you already want to quit.'' The reason I added that to my story was that if Fred is tired in the second half, the Tigers have no backup quarterback and they might lose the game. In conclusion if you are interested in football read this book.
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