THE ELECTRIC KID by Garry D. Kilworth


Age Range: 10 - 14
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 A powerful tale of poverty and redemption in the 21st century. The heroes are aptly named: Hotwire, a young girl, has a talent for fixing mechanical things while her partner, the sightless Blindboy, can detect ultrasonic vibrations. Together, the orphans forage for food day after day on top of the city's junkpile, while Blindboy ``listens'' for discarded pocket radios or electric can openers that Hotwire hastily repairs. Although the junkpile kids are a scrappy lot, Kilworth's first novel focuses on the grim reality of their situation so vividly that readers will almost smell the immense piles of garbage. But at least these children are free: When the enterprising duo is tricked into working for the mobster Mouseman, they cooperate only when threatened with imprisonment in a sweatshop where children assemble computer circuits by hand. Rescue comes from a humane city cop, who recognizes that Hotwire and Blindboy are more than petty thieves. That leads to the arrest of Mouseman and the duo's adoption by an old Chinese retailer and his wife. It's a satisfying happy ending, as solid in the year 2061 as it is in 1995: Every kid needs a home. (Fiction. 10-14)

Pub Date: Oct. 1st, 1995
ISBN: 0-531-09486-3
Page count: 138pp
Publisher: Orchard
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: July 15th, 1995