JUST ONE TEAR by K.L. Mahon

JUST ONE TEAR

Age Range: 11 - 15
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KIRKUS REVIEW

 Responding empathetically to a friend's traumatic loss of his father, a 14-year-old Australian girl has recreated his experience as a novel in the form of a diary. In spare language that achieves a kind of eloquence through its very simplicity, Mahon writes a brief entry--a few lines to a page or two--for most days from March 2, when her fictional protagonist records sitting by his dying father, until two months later, when the boy's confusion and anger (largely directed at his mother, who seems to have abandoned him in her own grief) begin to be resolved. Love for his mother reasserts itself; understanding that death is ``silence,'' ``lonely,'' ``loss,'' and ``sometimes selfish'' frees a first tear. The circumstances the young author presents are melodramatic: the father was murdered; the boy, a witness, is hectored in court; the accused is acquitted; the despairing boy is befriended by a despondent stranger who later commits suicide. Possibly all these things happened to Mahon's real friend; in any case, other young people are sure to recognize her well-realized character's complicated emotions as genuine. (Fiction. 11-15)

Pub Date: March 1st, 1994
ISBN: 0-688-13519-6
Page count: 64pp
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: Feb. 15th, 1994