213 VALENTINES by Barbara Cohen


by & illustrated by
Age Range: 7 - 10
Email this review


 Reluctantly bused to a program for gifted children, Wade is one of two black kids in his fourth grade; the other is Dink, girl and known nerd. Neither is made particularly welcome by the more privileged children in their new class, most of whom already know each other; even the teacher lacks warmth, and is oblivious to the social and economic pressures exerted by traditional Halloween or Valentine's celebrations. Though Wade is soon respected as a math whiz, he's so busy building defenses that he rejects all tentative proffers of friendship; he does sit with Dink at lunch to avoid being alone. Since Valentine's Day promises to be especially painful--he's sure that only the person who draws his name will give him a card--he decides to send masses of them to himself. Fortunately, Dink's patient courtesy and help make him reconsider; when the day comes, he generously distributes his valentines to family, class, and the pediatric ward where his aunt works--plus 50 to a delighted Dink. Neither preaching nor sugar coating, Cohen tells her story with practiced ease. Her characterizations may be not deep, but they're realistic and individual; wondering whether Ward will really carry through with his misguided attempt to save face holds interest to the end. Good additional fare. (Fiction. 7-10)*justify no*

Pub Date: Sept. 1st, 1991
ISBN: 0-8050-1536-1
Page count: 54pp
Publisher: Henry Holt
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: Aug. 1st, 1991