NO EFFECT by Daniel Hayes


Age Range: 11 - 14
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 In his third novel about Tyler (who lives in upstate New York with his widowed actress mom, a housekeeper, and big-brother surrogate Chuckie, ex-Marine and present ``groundskeeper''), Hayes turns from the melodrama of The Trouble with Lemons (1991) and the farce of The Eye of the Beholder (1992) to a better balanced, more realistic story about the eighth grader in love- -with his new science teacher, Miss Williams. Hayes manipulates events freely: Miss Williams's predecessor is conveniently carried off by a stroke; immediately after, the obnoxious wrestling coach throws his back while demonstrating a move and is replaced by Chuckie, who turns out to be a former state champ. Totally smitten, Tyler invites Miss Williams to Thanksgiving and his first meet and is overjoyed at her ready acceptance; she turns out to be dating Chuckie, but Tyler's discovery of this predictable fact is neither as comic nor as shattering might be expected. Pluckily surviving his peers' hazing and establishing a more appropriate friendship with the teacher, Tyler goes on to win his meet by a fluke. Hayes understands young people, and captures their thoughts, concerns, and repartee very well, while his characters here (especially sidekick Lymie) are more consistently drawn than before. He still overburdens his narrative with detail; though it's vividly presented and mostly germane, there's far too much of it, and of explaining instead of showing. But Tyler's a likable guy, and kids his age will enjoy spending time with him. (Fiction. 11-14)

Pub Date: Dec. 1st, 1993
ISBN: 0-87923-989-1
Page count: 206pp
Publisher: Godine
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: Dec. 15th, 1993


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