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SKETCHES by Eric Walters


by Eric Walters

Age Range: 14 & up

Pub Date: March 1st, 2008
ISBN: 978-0-670-06294-2
Publisher: Viking

Art and the street provide refuge to a hurting teen. Escaping from her sexually abusive stepfather, Dana joins up with Brent and Ashley, two longtime residents of the Toronto streets. Making money by spare-changing commuters and wiping windshields leaves Dana yearning for artistic expression, which she finds when a drop-in center councilor notices her graffiti. Her talent quickly garners the threesome extra cash, and Dana is able to confront her inner turmoil through canvas. Dealing with dark issues such as homelessness and sexual abuse, Walters keeps Dana’s narrative voice light, a choice that reduces the authenticity of the tale. Dana remains oddly above whatever circumstances she faces, whether it’s the revelation of her self-mutilation, the tale of her sexual abuse, or the intervention by the drop-in center’s counselor. Brent and Ashley’s world-weary attitude nicely balances out the discrepancy. Lacking the strong characters and emotions of Jessica Blank’s Almost Home, Walters’s tale remains a rough sketch. (Fiction. YA)