THE MAN WHO LOVED CLOWNS by June Rae Wood

THE MAN WHO LOVED CLOWNS

Age Range: 10 - 14
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KIRKUS REVIEW

 When Delrita Jensen moves to Tangle Nook and finds kids laughing at 35-year-old Uncle Punky (who has Down's syndrome), singing and swinging in the backyard, her worst fears are confirmed. Shunned next day at school, she remains invisible until Avanelle, a new girl with her own family secret, seeks her friendship. Then Delrita's parents die in a car accident, and she and Punky must live with Uncle Bert and Aunt Queenie, who enroll Punky in a sheltered workshop in the hope that both Punky and Delrita will become more independent. Punky thrives in his new environment, but Delrita withdraws; wrongly accused of exposing Avanelle's secret, she climbs back into her ``invisible shell.'' Finally, after Punky's chronically weak heart gives out and Delrita sees how many friends pay him tribute, she finds that she, too, can ``spread my wings and fly.'' Packed with nimble dialogue, distinct personalities, and powerful emotions, a well-paced first novel that adroitly conveys Delrita's struggles to find herself. While the parents' deaths seem contrived and some events are predictable, the scenes of Punky with his peers are a delight. A perceptive look at some of the possibilities presented by life--and death. (Fiction. 10-14)

Pub Date: Oct. 21st, 1992
ISBN: 0-399-21888-2
Page count: 224pp
Publisher: Putnam
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: Nov. 1st, 1992




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