ON GUARD by Donna Jo Napoli


Age Range: 9 - 11
Email this review


Having overcome his fear of drowning in When the Water Closes Over My Head (1994), Mikey advances further down the road of self-discovery when he witnesses a fencing demonstration and catches the fever. It's perfect: He can indulge his interest in weapons while truthfully assuring his parents that it's a sport, and not fighting. Meanwhile, he shores up his battered, middle-child's self-esteem and creates a class report on the history of swords that he hope will win the Olympic medal his fourth-grade teacher hands out every week. To his delight, Mikey has an aptitude to match his enthusiasm, and what he learns in his first few classes about balance, strategy, sensitivity, and sportsmanship pays immediate dividends--not just on the practice floor, but in a series of more conventional situations into which Napoli places him: dealing with a bully, nurturing a new friendship, and holding his own in his busy, good-natured family. The author writes authoritatively of this unusual martial art, and lays on lessons with a light hand. (Fiction. 9-11)
Pub Date: Jan. 1st, 1997
ISBN: 0-525-45759-3
Page count: 149pp
Publisher: Dutton
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: Dec. 1st, 1996


ChildrenHUNGER by Donna Jo Napoli
by Donna Jo Napoli
ChildrenTAKE YOUR TIME by Eva Furrow
by Eva Furrow
ChildrenFISH GIRL by Donna Jo Napoli
by Donna Jo Napoli