FAST SAM, COOL CLYDE, AND STUFF

Stuff, the youngest, moves to 116th Street when he is twelve and a half, and this is by way of a fond memoir of the kids he came to hang out with. He is tightest with Cool Clyde, the gentle leader, and with Fast Sam, who can fight when he has to but is better at running; signify-in' Gloria is a good friend too and there are three or four others—all of whom feel so good about each other that the whole gang forms a club called the 116th Street Good People for mutual support and consolation in times of individual trouble. It's a far tamer bunch than the one Bethan-court ran into in Brooklyn (KR, p. 464, J-160), but they do have their typically inner-city adventures: the whole gang landing in jail for disrupting the hospital they rush to after Robin from another neighborhood bites a piece of Binky's ear off in a fight. . . Cool Clyde and Fast Sam winning a $50 dance prize as a couple—until Clyde rips off his girl's wig to sock a guy who tries to soul kiss him. . . all of them helping to save 118th Street Carnation Charlie from dying of an OD—only to hear later that despite the Good People's desire to help, Charlie has been killed during an attempted holdup. Stuff can be a little long-winded in Holden Caulfield-like digressions, and his friends awfully earnest in their discussions of sex and drugs, but in general his colloquial first-person narrative projects a sense of enviable group rapport with an easy mix of nostalgia and humor.

Pub Date: April 1, 1975

ISBN: 0140326138

Page Count: 200

Publisher: Viking

Review Posted Online: Oct. 19, 2011

Kirkus Reviews Issue: April 1, 1975

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HATCHET

A prototypical survival story: after an airplane crash, a 13-year-old city boy spends two months alone in the Canadian wilderness. In transit between his divorcing parents, Brian is the plane's only passenger. After casually showing him how to steer, the pilot has a heart attack and dies. In a breathtaking sequence, Brian maneuvers the plane for hours while he tries to think what to do, at last crashing as gently and levelly as he can manage into a lake. The plane sinks; all he has left is a hatchet, attached to his belt. His injuries prove painful but not fundamental. In time, he builds a shelter, experiments with berries, finds turtle eggs, starts a fire, makes a bow and arrow to catch fish and birds, and makes peace with the larger wildlife. He also battles despair and emerges more patient, prepared to learn from his mistakes—when a rogue moose attacks him and a fierce storm reminds him of his mortality, he's prepared to make repairs with philosophical persistence. His mixed feelings surprise him when the plane finally surfaces so that he can retrieve the survival pack; and then he's rescued. Plausible, taut, this is a spellbinding account. Paulsen's staccato, repetitive style conveys Brian's stress; his combination of third-person narrative with Brian's interior monologue pulls the reader into the story. Brian's angst over a terrible secret—he's seen his mother with another man—is undeveloped and doesn't contribute much, except as one item from his previous life that he sees in better perspective, as a result of his experience. High interest, not hard to read. A winner.

Pub Date: Sept. 1, 1987

ISBN: 1416925082

Page Count: -

Publisher: Bradbury

Review Posted Online: Oct. 18, 2011

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Aug. 15, 1987

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Black is building a complex mythology; now is a great time to tune in.

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THE CRUEL PRINCE

From the Folk of the Air series , Vol. 1

Black is back with another dark tale of Faerie, this one set in Faerie and launching a new trilogy.

Jude—broken, rebuilt, fueled by anger and a sense of powerlessness—has never recovered from watching her adoptive Faerie father murder her parents. Human Jude (whose brown hair curls and whose skin color is never described) both hates and loves Madoc, whose murderous nature is true to his Faerie self and who in his way loves her. Brought up among the Gentry, Jude has never felt at ease, but after a decade, Faerie has become her home despite the constant peril. Black’s latest looks at nature and nurture and spins a tale of court intrigue, bloodshed, and a truly messed-up relationship that might be the saving of Jude and the titular prince, who, like Jude, has been shaped by the cruelties of others. Fierce and observant Jude is utterly unaware of the currents that swirl around her. She fights, plots, even murders enemies, but she must also navigate her relationship with her complex family (human, Faerie, and mixed). This is a heady blend of Faerie lore, high fantasy, and high school drama, dripping with description that brings the dangerous but tempting world of Faerie to life.

Black is building a complex mythology; now is a great time to tune in. (Fantasy. 14-adult)

Pub Date: Jan. 2, 2018

ISBN: 978-0-316-31027-7

Page Count: 384

Publisher: Little, Brown

Review Posted Online: Sept. 26, 2017

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Oct. 15, 2017

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