Age Range: 10 - 12
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 Charlie has plenty of stress: he's the starting pitcher in the upcoming championship game; he wants to join the Bombers, a junior-high gang; he can't work up the nerve to ask heartthrob Misty to an end-of-the-year dance--and his older sister has Down's Syndrome, a fact that he fears could cost him all three opportunities. Though Charlie's resentment flares when Annie makes a public scene or needs chaperoning, at heart he's a decent, cooperative sort, and well rewarded in the end. Several aborted attempts at shoplifting and minor vandalism cure him of his desire to join the Bombers; he does win the big game; and Misty turns out to be not only friendly, but a volunteer at Annie's special school. Dodds's characters are sketchily drawn, but he does offer several strategies for coping with feelings about a mentally retarded sibling. Unlike some other books of this ilk (e.g., Colby Rodowsky's What About Me?, 1976), the story has a light tone; Charlie and his family behave naturally with one another, while a running gag of affectionately referring to his twin sisters by different paired names--``Rock and Roll,'' ``Oil and Vinegar,'' ``Ketchup and Mustard,'' ``Rinse and Spit''- -will have readers laughing. (Fiction. 10-12)

Pub Date: Feb. 11th, 1993
ISBN: 1-56397-114-3
Page count: 96pp
Publisher: Boyds Mills
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: Dec. 15th, 1992