Books by Don Trembath

Released: Jan. 15, 2000

After years of normal living, a teenager learns he has epilepsy and has to cope not just with the disease, but with the side effects, including the hostility of his peers. High schooler Lefty has an epileptic seizure while hanging out with his best friend, Reuben, and must subsequently learn to live with the disease, deal with medication, make lifestyle changes, overcome his own fear, as well as that of family and friends, and face his peers. What little action there is in this marathon talkfest concerns Lefty and his friends (including his 12-year-old brother) smoking and drinking. In his tough, working-class neighborhood this is considered perfectly normal, and the author never counters that. Most of readers' efforts may be spent trying to keep track of the many characters: Lefty's friends and brothers, his mother's tough-as-nails girlfriends, neighbors, classmates, medical personnel, etc. When Lefty, a budding writer, pens an imaginary dialogue between two elderly neighbors and a would-be mugger, the story picks up; otherwise this is a flat and emotionally distant bull session that, though extended, leads nowhere. (Fiction. 11-13) Read full book review >
Released: Feb. 1, 1999

Third in a series of books (The Tuesday Cafe, 1998, not reviewed, etc.) set in Canada, featuring 16-year-old Harper Winslow from a suburb of Edmonton. Harper is pleasantly surprised when his conventional mother says she's sending him to a camp for young writers. The first person he meets at camp is Mickey Taylor, enthusiastic but goofy, whose twin sister, Sunny, and father are vacationing in a nearby cabin. From the first, Harper loves everything about Sunny, and their relationship continues after camp is over. The Taylors are everything Harper's family is not: Mickey and Sunny are schooled at home, their mother is a freelance writer, and the atmosphere in their house is relaxed. The comedy in this tale comes from Harper's attempts to conceal his lack of romantic experience from Sunny, culminating in a very funny scene in which she repeats his fabrications about mythical former girlfriends to the Winslows. Trembath's refreshing tale wrings from a boy's dating foibles some genuinely tender scenes; when it looks as if Sunny might go away for a year to attend art school, Harper lands with a bump and struggles with his feelings. His first-person narrative is natural-sounding and engaging, and readers will relish this story of first love from, for a change, a boy's perspective. (Fiction. 12-16) Read full book review >