EVEN STEPHEN by Johanna Hurwitz


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According to his younger sister Sunny, who narrates this novel, there isn't anything at which Stephen, 17, doesn't excel: He has perfect SAT scores, girls drool at the sight of him, he's a star athlete, and has been accepted not only at Harvard but Yale, Princeton, and MIT as well. On the other hand, Sunny doesn't excel at much. When the popular coach keels over during basketball practice, Stephen administers CPR; in spite of his heroic efforts, Coach Rustin dies. Unused to failure, Stephen becomes deeply depressed; it's up to Sunny to find the way to bring him around. Hurwitz (Ozzie On His Own, 1995, etc.) makes it impossible for readers to like either Stephen or Sunny; he's not only perfect but stuffy, and she's never given a story (or even personality) of her own. After a slow start, the plot is suddenly crammed with medical emergencies, from a choking incident in a restaurant to the coach's death and Stephen's depression. His emotional crisis takes place in so few pages that it's almost pointless, but it's also the only real action in the book.

Pub Date: April 1st, 1996
Page count: 104pp
Publisher: Morrow