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THE WHOLE SKY FULL OF STARS by Jr. Saldaña

THE WHOLE SKY FULL OF STARS

By Jr. Saldaña

Age Range: 12 - 15

Pub Date: March 13th, 2007
ISBN: 0-385-73053-5
Publisher: Wendy Lamb/Random

The bond between teen pals Barry and Alby is tested when each desperately needs money. Scheming Alby, deep in gambling debt, goads Barry, a skilled boxer, into entering a local competition—without revealing that he plans to use the purse to pay off what he owes. Good guy Barry, at first reluctant, is seduced by the idea that with his winnings, he’ll be able to help his overworked widowed mother. Suspense mounts: Will Barry, inspired by memories of his beloved father, win? Will he find out he’s being used? Who’ll get the money? Male readers should like and stick with this. Barry and Alby are well-drawn, the dynamics of their friendship are realistic for the most part and the theme of what one will do for a friend is explored. However, the plot is formulaic and ties up too neatly, Barry’s a bit too good to be true and the way Alby changes at the end isn’t entirely credible. Overall, though, this is short, fast-paced and sustains interest. (Fiction. 12-15)