THE SECRET LIFE OF HAROLD THE BIRDWATCHER by Hila Colman

THE SECRET LIFE OF HAROLD THE BIRDWATCHER

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KIRKUS REVIEW

Harold considers himself happy alone with his fantasies and wild ducks, but the other kids see him as a ""peculiar drip"" and his parents worry that he has no friends. Then Cindy and Tom, a sympathetic young couple, buy the lake property he frequents; for them he picks up trash and tries to chase off coarse, grownup Spike, who comes by boat and litters the beach. When Spike starts shooting the ducks Harold is moved to action; he lays in wait, then tackles Spike in mid-aim, rushing the gun to Tom who holds Spike till the police arrive. Spike, it turns out, is a wanted thief, and Harold's a hero--but he doesn't ""feel any different"" until classmate Frank comes to play, drawn by Harold's newspaper publicity, and Harold discovers that he too enjoys make-believe. Harold's early fantasies are so ordinary, however, as to make him anonymous, and his feat just too much like those he's dreamed. Spike is an incredibly stereotyped villain, and valid as Colman's conclusion may be, Frank also fits in too conveniently to make it matter.

Pub Date: March 29th, 1978
Publisher: T. Y. Crowell