IMITATE THE TIGER by Jan Cheripko

IMITATE THE TIGER

Age Range: 12 - 15

KIRKUS REVIEW

 In Cheripko's first novel, a high school senior stubbornly refuses to acknowledge that he's an alcoholic. All the signs are there: Christopher Serbo's grades are plunging, his girlfriend has called it quits, and home life with his aunt is a series of battles and deceptions. He's constantly angry and depressed, feeling out of control and unable to change. Only on the football field does Christopher find relief, and even there, as his team marches through its first undefeated season, the new coach presses him relentlessly. Christopher describes his episodes of drunkenness with brutal precision, becoming an embarrassing, pathetic figure. When his drinking becomes an open secret, his coach and a concerned teacher work out a deal that allows Christopher to finish the season and report immediately to a full-time rehabilitation program. Cheripko gives readers a glimpse of the new school's tough love approach that enables Christopher to admit that he has a problem, embark on a 12-step program, and realize that he does have the courage to help himself. If the plotting is a bit shaky--Christopher heals from a vicious beating with miraculous speed, and a deathbed scene with Aunt Catherine melodramatically ties up a loose end--Christopher's behavior, and the reasons for it, are laid out clearly enough, and the point that rules unjustly bend sometimes for a successful athlete is well taken. (Fiction. 12-15)

Pub Date: June 1st, 1996
ISBN: 1-56397-514-9
Page count: 221pp
Publisher: Boyds Mills
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: April 15th, 1996




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