AS EVER, GORDY by Mary Downing Hahn


Age Range: 10 - 13
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An eighth grader finds that his tough-guy persona doesn’t fit as well as it used to in Hahn’s third book about the fragmented Smith family (Stepping On The Cracks, 1991; Following My Own Footsteps, 1996). After his grandmother’s sudden death, Gordy has to move back to the hated Maryland town in which he grew up. Discovering that the intervening two years have done little to dim his family’s white-trash reputation, and that his ne’er-do-well friends, Doug and Toad, haven’t changed, Gordy slips back into his old troublemaking ways. The role begins to chafe, however, when he develops a yen for old rival Liz—Lizzy the Lizard—Crawford, and learns that his abusive father and reform-school- graduate older brother aren’t the best role models when it comes to human relations. Hahn expertly shows how the expectations of others influence Gordy’s behavior, as he struggles to step away from his bad old self; in the end he takes that step, though not without a realistic amount of backsliding. To Gordy’s surprise and pleasure, Elizabeth is willing to meet him half way. While Gordy’s anger is the dominant feeling here, flashes of humor and deftly inserted historical details of the post—WW II era lighten the load. (Fiction. 10-13)

Pub Date: April 20th, 1998
ISBN: 0-395-83627-1
Page count: 184pp
Publisher: Clarion
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: April 15th, 1998


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