GETTING HIM by Dennis Haseley

GETTING HIM

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KIRKUS REVIEW

Sixth-grade narrator, Donald, is an average 1950s preteen. He wants to fit in with the cool kids, and when his super-bright, nerdy little neighbor Harold is responsible for the laming of Donald's dog, Donald gets his chance. Amazingly enough, the cool -- read delinquent -- eighth-graders, Jim, Keith, and Robby express an interest in Donald's wish for revenge. The older boys devise an elaborate scheme that involves Donald seeming to befriend Harold in order to find his greatest weakness. Once he does that, they can exploit that weakness to destroy Harold. Donald eventually discovers that Harold believes aliens are coming to Earth to find him, and Donald takes the information to the cool guys. They, in turn, dress up like aliens (luckily Harold is near-sighted, and willing to suspend disbelief) and trick him into thinking that they are taking him away to their planet. When Harold reveals that he is only eight, although he is in Donald's class at school, the other boys feel guilty and abandon their plan. Donald also feels guilty, but he decides to make it up to Harold by truly befriending the lonely little boy. Haseley (Horses With Wings, 1993, etc.) has written a long, convoluted tale about the nastiness of boys. A lot of muck to wade through for the single tender moment at the very end.

Pub Date: Oct. 1st, 1994
Page count: 154pp
Publisher: FSG