Kirkus Reviews QR Code
ZANE’S TRACE by Allan Wolf

ZANE’S TRACE

By Allan Wolf

Age Range: 14 & up

Pub Date: Sept. 1st, 2007
ISBN: 978-0-7636-2858-1
Publisher: Candlewick

Zane Guesswind has a tough life: a family riven by mental illness, substance abuse and suicide, plus his own epilepsy and grief. To exorcise his demons, Zane writes obsessively with permanent markers on his bedroom walls and later on the dashboard of the 1969 Barracuda he commandeers and drives to Zanesville, Ohio. There he plans to shoot himself at his mother’s graveside with the heirloom pistol she used to kill herself. En route, he meets the intriguing Libba and assorted characters who each hold a piece of the puzzle that is Zane. Welding the coming-of-age road trip to the verse novel energizes and enlivens both. Assured rhythm and taut pacing, haunting characters and a few surprises make this a good introduction to the genre. While drawing from historical characters and events, Zane’s story is mainly about coming to terms with family, the inheritance we cannot refuse. Not all questions are answered at the end, but with Zane as the caustic but compelling tour guide, the trip is well worth making. Author’s note and extensive bibliography included. (Fiction. YA)