SONG FOR A SHADOW by Bernie MacKinnon


Age Range: 14 - 17
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 With his mother in a psychiatric hospital again and his ever-absent father, rock-star Danny ``Spider'' Webb, out on a hugely successful comeback tour, 18-year-old Aaron makes a break: he pushes his car over a cliff and thumbs his anonymous way toward Canada, ending up in Fox Hill, Maine, working in Jerry Ferguson's grocery. There, Aaron experiences stability for the first time. A talented guitarist, he joins a local rock group, Toy Soldiers; and develops an increasingly intense relationship with Jerry's daughter, Gail. But he never does feel quite comfortable--Spider's face ambushes him from magazines, album covers, etc.--and after a few months the idyll ends as Gail prepares for college, Toy Soldiers breaks up after almost winning a state-wide Battle of the Bands, and Aaron decides it's time to get closer to his father. Aaron's previous life is so sketchy that it's hard to tell what he's running from; still, he's a good-humored, sensitive character, free of anguish or senseless hate, with a winning tendency to see things as better (or worse) than they are. Despite the precious use of ``cuz'' (as in ``He is, and that sucks cuz she's a cool lady''), this young man's appreciation for the things his new friends and family take for granted is expressed with sympathy and understanding. (Fiction. 14-17)

Pub Date: April 1st, 1991
ISBN: 0-395-55419-5
Page count: 320pp
Publisher: Houghton Mifflin
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: March 15th, 1991