HIDDEN TALENTS by David Lubar

HIDDEN TALENTS

Age Range: 12 - 15

KIRKUS REVIEW

An eighth grader discovers five schoolmates with psychic powers in this amateurish effort from Lubar. Martin, who was expelled from every other junior high in six counties for mouthing off, is consigned to prison-like Edgeview Alternative School, along with other violent or nerdy teens deemed hopeless misfits. While trying to avoid both the ready fists of hulking bully Lester Bloodbath and the shock therapy meted out by Principal Davis, he meets Torchy, who can start fires without matches or lighters, Cheater Woo, whose test answers are always identical to someone else’s, and several others with odd, unconscious talents. Interspersing Martin’s tediously self-analytical narrative with flat attempts at humor, trite student essays, repetitive memos to faculty, and mawkish letters from home, Lugar draws the tale to a paradoxical climax in which the self-styled “psi five” scuttle Bloodbath’s plot to close the school down, but then do their best to earn releases. After realizing that he is psychic, able to read people’s deepest fears and hopes, Martin abruptly acquires a sense of responsibility and resolves never to abuse his talent. Padded with aimless subplots and earnest efforts to drum up sympathy for the one-dimensional cast’s brutal bullies and ineffectual teachers, this contrived story is a weak alternative to Stephanie Tolan’s Welcome to the Ark (1996) or Willo Davis Roberts’s The Girl with the Silver Eyes (1980). (Fiction. 12-15)

Pub Date: June 1st, 1999
ISBN: 0-312-86646-1
Page count: 213pp
Publisher: Tor
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: May 1st, 1999




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