Books by V.M. Jones

OUT OF REACH by V.M.  Jones
Released: Oct. 1, 2008

Modestly engaging, this New Zealand import focuses on family dynamics to explore universal adolescent concerns. From being ashamed and angered by his father's rants at soccer games to nursing an unrequited crush on his former best friend, 13-year-old Philip McLeod finds life a challenge. Add in a domineering older brother (who just happens to excel at soccer) and the family's lack of financial security, and readers themselves may start to feel overwhelmed. Luckily for both Philip and readers, however, things do look up. When a new recreation center opens in town, Philip discovers a passion and talent for rock climbing. While coincidences abound (there just happens to be a scholarship fund for needy kids, his crush's new love interest is a rock climber too) Jones manages to keep the plot believable. Characterization is brisk but effective and despite the Down Under locale, the lightly sketched setting should feel familiar to young readers. No new ground is covered, but readers are likely to be pleased for Phil as he carves out his own identity. (Fiction. 12-14)Read full book review >