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PLAYING IT COOL by Joaquin Dorfman


by Joaquin Dorfman

Age Range: 14 & up

Pub Date: May 23rd, 2006
ISBN: 0-375-83641-1
Publisher: Random House

Known to his classmates as a problem-solver, Sebastian is a con man with a conscience. The story opens with Baz trying to get his buddy a date, talking another out of suicide and helping his pseudo-girlfriend escape from an abortion clinic where her mother is picketing. Baz juggles these none-too-small problems with confidence, relying on favors—and even blackmail—to get the jobs done. Since he knows little about his father, Baz is eager to help Jeremy find his own real dad. A trip to Wilmington results in a reunion with Dromio, a smooth-talking businessman whose modern-day Robin Hood routine is remarkably similar to Sebastian’s. Baz tries to “play it cool,” but his confidence cracks as he begins to wonder about his own father’s identity and eventually realizes he’s had the tables turned on him. Dorfman’s solo debut is as original as Burning City (2005), a joint effort between him and his father, but it lacks the same fluidity. Curiously missing pronouns result in a choppy style, but the story is compelling and draws to a satisfying conclusion. (Fiction. YA)