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YOSS by Odo Hirsch

YOSS

By Odo Hirsch

Age Range: 12 - 15

Pub Date: Sept. 14th, 2004
ISBN: 0-385-73187-6
Publisher: Delacorte

A ponderous Candide remake, sans wit, point, memorable characters, or creative spark. In a traditional rite of passage, 14-year-old Yoss leaves his remote village, but instead of returning after a night as other lads do, he continues on—to fall in with, be used by, and ultimately to betray Conrad, a genial, vicious con-man, and then to be purchased for murky reasons by an ambitious merchant. Eventually, Yoss returns to his garden, er, village, his innate innocence roughed up but still essentially intact. Wordy, slow to develop, populated by complex but not compelling characters, and set, mostly, in a grungy, generic European town, this provides plenty of grist for literary analysts, but will disappoint young readers hoping for another sparkler like Hazel Green (2003) or Bartlett and the City of Flames (2003). (Fiction. 12-15)