STRIDER by Beverly Cleary
Kirkus Star

STRIDER

by , illustrated by
Age Range: 9 - 14

KIRKUS REVIEW

Leigh Botts, of Newbery-winning Dear Mr. Henshaw, is still learning to cope with his parents' divorce--a task to which he brings his earlier sensitivity and a new self-confidence. Now 14 and entering high school, Leigh and best-friend Barry find an appealing abandoned dog on the beach and name him Strider. Both boys would like to keep him; Barry's large, amiable family could easily accommodate Strider, but Barry--realizing how much Leigh wants the dog despite the probability that his landlady will object--suggests a unique joint custody. The arrangement works beautifully until Barry goes away for his annual month with his mom; when he comes back, Leigh's reluctance to share Strider cools their friendship--until the boys finally level with each other and work out a new deal that recognizes Leigh's greater need and affection for the dog. The action, as described in Leigh's diary, pivots around Strider; meanwhile, however, family relationships (especially Leigh's with his dad) are subtly growing and maturing in trademark Cleary style, the accessible, lightly humorous surface just one of the levels of an insightful story about idiosyncratic but nice characters dealing with universal issues. A sequel that could stand on its own (but won't have to); a comforting picture of a dear old friend thriving while continuing to work out his problems. Zelinsky's perceptive drawings are an excellent bonus. (Fiction. 9-14)

Pub Date: Sept. 20th, 1991
ISBN: 0-688-09900-9
Page count: 192pp
Publisher: Morrow/HarperCollins
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: July 1st, 1991




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