THE ONE WHERE THE KID NEARLY JUMPS TO HIS DEATH AND LANDS IN CALIFORNIA by Mary Hershey

THE ONE WHERE THE KID NEARLY JUMPS TO HIS DEATH AND LANDS IN CALIFORNIA

Age Range: 14 & up
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KIRKUS REVIEW

Alastair decides he should be called Stump when he’s sent to stay with his dad and stepmother in Lumina Beach, Calif., for the summer. Missing a leg since he fell from a ski-lift at the age of eight, his father and mom split shortly thereafter, and Alastair is bitter, to put it mildly. Skyla, the stepmother, has two prosthetic legs, and it doesn’t take long for Skyla and Stump to respect each other, but Stump’s anger and desire for revenge against his dad continues unabated. Jessie, a famous soap-opera-star relative of Skyla’s, invites Stump to participate in a grueling triathlon with each team coming from a different show. Having conned the famous retired and sadistically demanding swim coach into agreeing to shape him up, Stump agrees to compete in order to win Jessie’s admiration. A subplot about beach access detracts from the gradual unveiling of the truth about Stump and his father’s history. Ingenious schemes for revenge add some humor, but the voice of Stump, vibrating with emotion and intensity, is the main draw. This doesn’t quite measure up to Chris Crutcher’s Ironman (1995), but it’s in the ballpark. (Fiction. YA)

Pub Date: March 1st, 2007
ISBN: 1-59514-150-2
Page count: 288pp
Publisher: Razorbill/Penguin
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: Feb. 1st, 2007