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6-321 Hardcover – March 1, 2001

4.6 out of 5 stars 5 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

Laser's (The Rain) school-days yarn set in Queens, N.Y., during the 1960s may carry more relevance to the over-40 crowd than its target audience, but some poignant moments will hold the interest of teen readers. Those unfamiliar with the historical setting could grow restless tracing sixth-grade narrator Marc's numerous ups and downs. For instance, the narrative presumes that readers will understand the impact of Kennedy's assassination on the characters in lieu of delving deeply into Marc's and others' individual responses and actions; similarly, the disgrace caused by the separation of Marc's parents may be lost without a historical context. The author excels in portraying the more universal and accessible turning points in Marc's life, including his first infatuation with a girl (and her subsequent rejection of him, in one of the novel's best scenes, during a game of Scrabble), his run-ins with bullies from another class and Marc's initial fear of an intimidating teacher who, predictably, turns out to be his mentor. Laser balances an exploration of Marc's growing pains with humorous anecdotes. The book's leisurely pace and introspective nature demand patience, but encourage reflection. The reward for readers is a series of poetically crystallized moments as a boy on the brink of manhood becomes initiated into the larger world outside classroom 6-321. Ages 10-14.

Copyright 2001 Cahners Business Information, Inc.

From School Library Journal

Gr 5-7-Marc Chaikin's life has always been stable and steady but he is about to discover hatred and first love. Marc and his friends in 6-321 (the highest academic class) are being bullied by the students in 6-309 (the lowest academic achievers) and anger and hostility are escalating. Meanwhile, he is fighting the most popular boy in class for the affection of Lily Wu, his idea of the perfect girl. On the day of the agreed "big fight," President Kennedy is shot, and priorities suddenly change. Written in a direct style, and set within the narrow confines of Queens, NY, in 1963, this coming-of-age story subtly draws readers in. Laser's uncomplicated language allows his theme about image and expectation to come through clearly.-Amy Stultz, Leesburg Public Library, FL

Copyright 2001 Cahners Business Information, Inc.

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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 144 pages
  • Publisher: Atheneum; 1st edition (March 1, 2001)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0689833725
  • ISBN-13: 978-0689833724
  • Product Dimensions: 4.7 x 0.6 x 7.9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 8.5 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (5 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #472,714 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

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By A Customer on March 5, 2001
Format: Hardcover
It seems strange to use the word "halcyon" to describe the turbulent 60's, the era of Vietnam and the Kennedy assassination. However, Mr. Laser lovingly recreates that era when children did not have computers or video games to distract them...when school projects were joint efforts...when neighborhood schools were really neighborhood schools. Yet, today's young readers will realize that their wants, needs, fears, desires are not that different from children of yesteryear. This is a book for young readers to enjoy. I think their parents will enjoy it too. What a wonderful way to bond with one's children.
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Format: Hardcover
My son and I really enjoyed this book. I went to the library to get him a book that would grab his attention. With this book being told from an 11 year old boys point of view, it definitely did! He read for hours as we learned about the drama between the smart class and the more athletic class; the girl he loved, his parents fights, and then separation, his father leaving in the most touching, heart wrenching way. Then the assassination of a president throws everyone for a loop and they realize how small and petty their feuds are.
This book was very well written and I would definitely recommend it to a boy coming of age. My son is 11 in the fifth grade, and although he hasn't went through half of what Marc has, he definitely connected with the main character and thoroughly enjoyed this book!
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Format: Audio Cassette
I thought this book was one of the best books I've ever read. It's a coming-of-age story and also has some comedy, drama, and sorrow. My favorite part was when the children heard of Kennedy's assasination and realized how unimportant their school yard fighting really was. I recomend this book to people of all ages.
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Format: Hardcover
This book started out really well, and I thought I would like it a lot. But really, nothing exciting happened. My favorite part was probably when the boys are telling the secrets that they know. Also, why does the principal believe that Marc always has something to do with a fight when he was the one being beat up? Better for younger readers.
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By Cavalucci on November 19, 2015
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
great product
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