SHEPHERD by Julian F. Thompson

SHEPHERD

Age Range: 12 & up
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KIRKUS REVIEW

 High-school senior Shepherd Catlett--good student, good friend, good son--has a special mission. Since he's the only one who can hear the words ``save her life'' in the background of Final Refuge song ``Steam It Open,'' he assumes he's meant to rescue freshman Mary Sutherland, both from doing poorly in Spanish 1 and from the wild crowd she's drawn to. Lovestruck and always inclined to do the right thing, Shep ignores best friend Tara Garza's warning that Mary is in over her head, as well as his own suspicion that he's being used to present a respectable front to Mary's mother. In a brilliantly rendered scene, he crashes a toga party where drinking and sex are in full swing, only to be rejected by Mary, beaten up, and tossed out. Withdrawing into himself, Shep leaves rescuing Mary in Tara's able hands. The novel is marred by a far-fetched final scene when a school assembly turns into a mock shootout between a student and an abusive teacher--an incident that nevertheless provides the vehicle for Shep to ``save'' both girls and regain his own self respect. Thompson (Simon Pure, 1987, etc.) assumes an authentic teenage voice--in turn witty, self-deprecating, and profane--that's guaranteed to involve readers in Shep's crisis of love, self-doubt, and disillusion. (Fiction 12+)

Pub Date: Nov. 1st, 1993
ISBN: 0-8050-2106-X
Page count: 168pp
Publisher: Henry Holt
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: Dec. 1st, 1993




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