A lonely, shy boy with an unusual talent breaks out of his shell with the unwanted help of an aggressive girl manager.
Calvin lives with his ailing grandmother over their dry-cleaning shop, relying on his love of yo-yos to relieve stress. He decides he might be able to make some money as a street performer with his yo-yo tricks, but he can’t avoid the highly unwanted attention of Rozelle, who demands to become his manager and grabs half his earnings. Worse, Rozelle markets him as a prophet, who can make accurate predictions during his performances. Her shenanigans net him local television attention, but the now overconfident Calvin begins to believe his own publicity and predicts that he can beat a world-champion yo-yo master. Meanwhile, his grandmother fails further and sells her business to a man Calvin doesn’t trust. As the deadline looms for finding a new apartment, Calvin relies on his yo-yo, teaching himself dazzling new tricks. Krossing paints vivid and believable portraits of her main characters and keeps the action flowing, especially in her descriptions of Calvin’s performances. She manages to convey the intricacies of the tricks and Calvin’s joy in mastering them while moving the narrative briskly along.
It all adds up to a captivating and believable portrait of a young boy coming of age. (Fiction. 12 & up)