STICK BOY by Joan T. Zeier


Age Range: 9 - 11
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 Eric Bonner has shot up seven inches in the past year, making life in sixth grade so unbearable that his mother has just yanked him out of one school and plunked him down in another. But his lot hasn't improved: new classmate Tyler Wayne promptly tunes into Eric's gangly vulnerability with the nickname ``Stick Boy.'' While tension between them develops, Eric finds friendship with a foster child, Jeremiah, and gains enough confidence to come to the rescue of a disabled black student. Zeier (The Elderberry Thicket, 1990) captures Eric's towering discomfort with such telling details as the shortness of his pajama sleeves and his picking out a puffy winter jacket to disguise his shape. Eric is capable of brusquely hurting the feelings of one student while bristling at the nearly identical treatment he receives from another; he's clumsy but has moments of poise, hinting at the young man he'll become. But though he's charmingly complicated and boyish, he's been slipped into a fairly ordinary plot with a disappointingly facile ending. Still, Zeier has a knack for depicting the sixth-grade milieu; its goofiness and grandeur are perfectly pitched. (Fiction. 9-11)

Pub Date: April 30th, 1993
ISBN: 0-689-31835-9
Page count: 136pp
Publisher: Atheneum
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: April 15th, 1993