BUSTER, ``THE SHEIKH OF HOPE STREET'' by Bjarne Reuter

BUSTER, ``THE SHEIKH OF HOPE STREET''

by & translated by
Age Range: 9 & up
Email this review

KIRKUS REVIEW

 A second bittersweet story about the hero of Buster's World (1990 Batcheldor Award)--with the vulnerable but resilient Danish boy now yearning to play the lead in a school play. Telling scenes reveal that Buster's life isn't easy: he must fetch his father home from a bar; he shares a bed with his sister; he's treated callously by teachers, the play's director, and a school custodian--only one of the blindly angry people he contends with. Creative and sensitive as well as exasperating, Buster counters with mischief--not all of it innocent: he tricks the privileged boy chosen to play the sheikh into letting him paint his face green--but he's also the sympathetic confidant of a neighbor, a recent widower, and, for all its faults, his family is a loving one. Like his character, his age is a surreal blend of playfulness and adult experience--though he does decimals in math, Buster's constant companion is ``Charlie Mane,'' a broomstick horse. In the book's most poignant moment, just after a teacher has called him a ``zero...[a] nothing,'' Buster's told by the custodian that Charlie Mane has been burned: he was infested with lice. The weeping Buster still has courage and a sense of his own value: running free, he shouts, ``I'm Buster...I'm not nothing.'' A moving story that captures childhood's essence in a rare blend of unblinking realistic detail, pathos, and rollicking, roguish humor. In Bell's excellent translation, the style is wonderfully vigorous and colorful. (Fiction. 9+)

Pub Date: Oct. 1st, 1991
ISBN: 0-525-44772-5
Page count: 112pp
Publisher: Dutton
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: Nov. 1st, 1991




MORE BY BJARNE REUTER

ChildrenTHE RING OF THE SLAVE PRINCE by Bjarne Reuter
by Bjarne Reuter
ChildrenTHE BOYS FROM ST. PETRI by Bjarne Reuter
by Bjarne Reuter

MORE BY ANTHEA BELL

ChildrenVASILISA THE BEAUTIFUL by Anthea  Bell
by Anthea Bell
ChildrenDOT AND ANTON by Erich Kästner
by Erich Kästner
ChildrenDREAM A LITTLE DREAM by Kerstin Gier
by Kerstin Gier