TOP WING by Matt Christopher


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Age Range: 8 - 11
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 In his latest sports story, Christopher skates the edge of self-parody. Dana is being ostracized by members of the Hammerville Anchors; consequently, the team is losing game after game. His father's in the hospital, badly injured while rescuing Dana's best friend Benton from a burning house, but Benton--rather than showing gratitude--is spreading a rumor that Dana's father is responsible for the fire. The author provides more than enough clues that Benton is hiding something: shifty behavior, a persistent cough, a mysterious box that he disposes of after the fire while a neighbor secretly films him. Yes, he's taken up cigarettes (``I got hooked,'' he confesses when Dana confronts him) and it has not only affected him on the playing field but has resulted in his burning the house. His horrified parents rush him off to therapy; the Anchors once again become a winning team. Christopher's handling of underlying issues is uncharacteristically exaggerated; still, his soccer action is dependably fast and furious. (Fiction. 8-11)

Pub Date: Jan. 1st, 1994
ISBN: 0-316-14099-6
Page count: 170pp
Publisher: Little, Brown
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: Dec. 15th, 1993


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