ROSEY IN THE PRESENT TENSE

A teenager finds his way out from overwhelming grief in this poignant story from Hawes. Franklin takes his funny, beloved classmate Rosey Mishimi’s death in a car crash so hard that six months later he’s still mired in depression, walled off from his mother, therapist, and friends, filling his journal with present-tense memories. Then Rosey reappears, almost her old bubbly self but insubstantial, invisible to everyone else—except, perhaps, her dying Japanese grandmother. Is she a ghost, or just a figment? While he doesn’t entirely rule out the latter, Franklin is eager to have Rosey back on any terms, despite the understandable dismay of those around him. In the end, it doesn’t matter; Rosey fades away, but slowly enough to give Franklin a chance to say goodbye, to understand that she will always be with him, and to accept the fact that he still has a life to live. Hawes keeps Rosey’s exact nature ambiguous without being coy; that, along with the distinct characters and a caring supporting cast, make this a thoughtful variation on the often-explored theme of coping with loss. (Fiction. 12-15)

Pub Date: March 1, 1999

ISBN: 0-8027-8685-5

Page Count: 128

Publisher: Walker

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: March 15, 1999

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GUTS

THE TRUE STORIES BEHIND HATCHET AND THE BRIAN BOOKS

Paulsen recalls personal experiences that he incorporated into Hatchet (1987) and its three sequels, from savage attacks by moose and mosquitoes to watching helplessly as a heart-attack victim dies. As usual, his real adventures are every bit as vivid and hair-raising as those in his fiction, and he relates them with relish—discoursing on “The Fine Art of Wilderness Nutrition,” for instance: “Something that you would never consider eating, something completely repulsive and ugly and disgusting, something so gross it would make you vomit just looking at it, becomes absolutely delicious if you’re starving.” Specific examples follow, to prove that he knows whereof he writes. The author adds incidents from his Iditarod races, describes how he made, then learned to hunt with, bow and arrow, then closes with methods of cooking outdoors sans pots or pans. It’s a patchwork, but an entertaining one, and as likely to win him new fans as to answer questions from his old ones. (Autobiography. 10-13)

Pub Date: Feb. 1, 2001

ISBN: 0-385-32650-5

Page Count: 150

Publisher: Delacorte

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Dec. 15, 2000

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THUNDERSHINE

TALES OF METAKIDS

In a well-written gambol through weirdness, Skinner (The Wrecker, 1995, etc.) offers four highly imaginative short stories about young people with supernatural powers. In the first story, Jenny can change the world, and change history, by changing the maps she draws. The narrator, Laurie, knows Jenny is out of control, and when Jenny creates a second sun and splits the earth in two, Laurie is ready to act. The second story is about a world where people “bop”—instant travel just by thinking of a location—instead of walking from one place to another. Mae, however, either can’t bop, or won’t, a prospect that intrigues the narrator. In the third tale, Meredith, who has a supernatural connection with the planet Pluto, and Dexter, who is able to spray-paint with his mind, unite their powers. In the fourth and longest story, Jake finds himself deeply in love with a religious girl, Louise, and both of them are tempted by the powers a metahuman, Nina, has bestowed upon them. All four stories will captivate readers, and may even get them thinking about deeper ideas. Skinner’s often humorous portrayal of young adolescents is on target, and while the stories resemble writing exercises, lacking the sustained, pulse-pounding poetic turns of his novels, they are consistently entertaining. (b&w illustrations, not seen) (Fiction. 9-14)

Pub Date: June 1, 1999

ISBN: 0-689-80556-X

Page Count: 116

Publisher: Simon & Schuster

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: May 1, 1999

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