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SUN DANCE by Kevin McColley

SUN DANCE

By Kevin McColley

Age Range: 12 & up

Pub Date: Oct. 1st, 1995
ISBN: 0-689-80008-8
Publisher: Simon & Schuster

 A coming-of-age novel with a 14-year-old protagonist, Randy, who takes after Holden Caulfield (right down to his favorite expressions, e.g., ``What a bunch of phonies'' and ``That just kills me''), has a yen for Native American metaphysics (a Sioux Indian in spirit), and is surrounded by a supporting cast of riffraff out of an Elmore Leonard novel. Readers witness his encounters with drugs and sex and read passionate descriptions of his family situation (his father goes to jail for brutally beating his mother, who blames Randy for calling the sheriff, etc.). The plot follows Randy on a basic road trip with his brother, his brother's girlfriend (an ex-stripper), and their drug dealer/addict friend. McColley (Pecking Order, 1994, etc.) has filled his book with all kinds of impulsive and unrestrained moves, whether twists in the story (they plan to blow up a nuclear reactor), or turns of phrase (``The sharp smell of pig manure ran along the road like an escaped lunatic from a mental asylum''). But the narration is heartfelt, and if the book is occasionally derivative, it's still extremely sincere. (Fiction. 12+)