SONS OF LIBERTY by Adele Griffin


Age Range: 10 - 14
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 A knot-in-the-stomach of a good book, as true and real as any this year: Griffin (Split Just Right, p. 555, etc.), in her disturbing portraits of adults as authoritative, abusive, and ineffectual parents, casts a dark shadow over the story of two teenage brothers leaving the safety of childhood. Intelligent writing and thoughtfully drawn characters amplify the process of two boys wending their way through the complexities of family relationships that are often beyond the scope of their understanding. Rock, 13, is a history buff, an American Revolution aficionado who understands loyalty and conflict. Griffin cleverly draws parallels between the private family war of two sons rebelling against their regimented, fiercely controlling father, and the large-scale revolt of young colonies against the parent country. Rock's relationship with his brother Cliff is mostly intuitive, marked by petty jealousies and competitions as well as shining moments. As Cliff and Rock toy with the notion of escape, the suspense is exhausting; Rock's anguish is achingly realized, and the final outcome is no black- and-white happy ending, but a gray realm: They choose the temporary pain of breaking away in the half-uttered hope of finding a better life. It will make readers wince in discomfort, and long to know how it all turned out. (Fiction. 10-14)

Pub Date: Sept. 1st, 1997
ISBN: 0-7868-0351-7
Page count: 186pp
Publisher: Hyperion
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: Aug. 15th, 1997


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