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Gentlehands (Harper Keypoint Book) Paperback – May 8, 2001

3.9 out of 5 stars 30 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

When a newspaper story claims that Buddy Boyle's grandfather is a former Nazi, the ensuing chaos threatens the boy's familial ties and a romantic relationship. Ages 12-up.
Copyright 1990 Reed Business Information, Inc.

Review

"Buddy's world is turned upside down, first when he falls in love with rich Skye Pennington and then, catastrophically, when he discovers that his refined and cultured grandfather is the notorious Nazi war criminal Gentlehands." -- ALA Best Books for Young Adults Committee.

"Kerr at her provocative best." -- SLJ
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Product Details

  • Series: Harper Keypoint Book
  • Paperback: 208 pages
  • Publisher: HarperTeen; Reissue edition (May 8, 2001)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0064470679
  • ISBN-13: 978-0064470674
  • Product Dimensions: 6.8 x 4.2 x 0.6 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 3.2 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 3.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (30 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,026,766 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback
This book began as the typical young adult novel, a good looking boy falls for the rich, classy and beautiful girl, but somehow, the author managed to pull it off in the end.
Buddy Boyle is young and immature to the ways of the world. But when Buddy meets Skye Pennington, he realizes that there is a whole other world, and it has class. Unfortunately for Buddy, he lives in a middle class lifestyle and has nothing to impress Skye with (since all boys seem to have a need to impress their girlfriends) So Buddy takes Skye to meet his wealthy and estranged grandfather.
I enjoyed this book because it is quite different from most of the books that I've read before. I am more into historical fiction type books and although this book may seem like that type, the theme is mainly concerning discrimination. I've never read a book about the holocast, and this book gave an interesting point of view. At one point in this book, I really felt like crying because of how cruel some people can be. This book touched me on a real emotional level surprisingly since it started out quite differently. The symbolism is wonderful. The grandfather talks about how all birds are prisoners of their own territory and yet he always feeds the birds. I thought Gentlehands was marvelous, but the only reason I did not give it 5 stars is because it ended rather abruptly. It's one of my pet peeves when books end too quickly, and this book did. But give this book a chance, it gets boring at some parts, but it really is a great book and has a great lesson: that the past is all in the past.
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By A Customer on January 27, 1999
Format: Paperback
I cannot even begin to say how much this wonderful novel has affected my life. I first read it in junior high school ( I have just graduated college), and have re-read it about four times! The story, dialouge, and characters completely draw you in, and Kerr is able to comment on some incredibly fundimental issues while still keeping the reader's attention. In fact, although Gentlehands is a young adult novel, it is better off read by someone at the college level, so that all of the subtleties can be understood. One of the few books every American should read.
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Format: Paperback
Buddy Boyle lives in a pretty middle-class average place, with his parents and his younger brother. His mother's father lives close by in the next town over, but they never communicate with him. He was never a real father to Buddy's mother; she was an accident and he didn't stay around to watch her grow up. By chance they live so close.

Buddy was never interested in his grandfather until he started dating Skye, a beautiful rich girl who spends her summers in town by the ocean. Buddy knows that his family couldn't possibly impress this wonderful girl, but he remembers from his one visit to his grandfather that he lives in a nice home on the ocean filled with fine things. So Buddy brings Skye there to see him.

Immediately Buddy and Skye both fall in love with Buddy's grandfather. He is sophisticated; he knows about wine and opera. His home is filled with fine and expensive things. He takes care of the animals that live near his home. He seems the epitome of culture and grace, and Buddy and Skye start spending a great deal of time with him. Buddy feels like his grandfather can teach him all sorts of things about fitting into Skye's world that he couldn't learn at home.

Buddy's parents are not thrilled about his newfound relationships with his grandfather and with Skye, but they don't stop him. That is, until a nasty rumor starts spreading about Buddy's grandfather. Could he really be who people say he is?

The ending of this story was really good. It fit in well with the rest of the story. I also liked that the grandfather was made so appealing; it forced me to reconsider my views on the goodness of people. However, I disliked Buddy intensely. He wasn't nice to his family, especially his little brother, and so I found it hard to sympathize with him or root for him throughout the story.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
I read this book when I was around 13. I enjoyed it very much. It's about a boy growing into a man. It teaches you so many different things. About judgement. Tolerance. I bought it on my kindle to share with my kids. They also enjoyed the book. I'd recommend this book to young adults as well as adults everywhere. Most suited to young adults as it is a coming of age book.
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Format: School & Library Binding
I think this is a very well written book for teens AND ADULTS! I think it moves along well and has very thought provoking topics.
Perhaps it should be rated at a Young Adult level because of the topics and the main character's age. I think older teens would appreciate the issues Buddy has to deal with in regards to his little brother, his parents, his boss, and his rich girlfriend. I think his interaction with his parents fairly typical for a son testing new waters, ones in which his folks have never journeyed.
This book really made me think about the humanity of the grandfather and his relationship to his grandson. It made me think how a single person can appear as a beast to some and yet be a source of love to another. I read this book a month ago and I'm still struggling with my feelings on that issue.
To me, this is the sign of a very good book - when you are still pondering it's messages long after you have closed it's pages!
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