PARENTS WANTED by George Harrar


Age Range: 10 - 14
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“So you know I’m obnoxious right?” And “everything always goes wrong when I’m around,” Andy Fleck, a 12-year-old boy with ADD and problems with impulse control, asks his new foster father. The genius of this tale, which sandwiches wonderfully observed comic moments between scenes that are both heart-wrenching and suspenseful, is that the reader sees exactly how obnoxious and exasperating Andy is, yet roots for him with his or her entire being. Andy, a boy who’s full of bravado but can’t go to sleep at night without his stuffed bear, is a child who desperately needs a family. His drunken mother and jailed thief of a father surrendered him to the state of Massachusetts. Ever since, Andy, though intelligent and resourceful, can’t sit still, obey orders, or cooperate with authorities, has been placed in numerous foster homes, “passed around like a puppy that nobody wants ’cause it keeps messing on the floor.” But now he has a real possibility for security. Two good people are willing to take him into their home with an eye to adoption. Can this over-wound boy whose ethical landscape is as twisted as a corkscrew keep his behavior under control? In a first-person voice that’s all too real, the drama intensifies as Andy tests his new foster parents’ patience and fortitude, finally culminating when Andy tells a devastating lie about his foster father. A killer read. (Fiction. 10-14)

Pub Date: Sept. 20th, 2001
ISBN: 1-57131-259-5
Page count: 320pp
Publisher: Milkweed
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: Aug. 15th, 2001