THE ONE O’CLOCK CHOP by Ralph Fletcher

THE ONE O’CLOCK CHOP

Age Range: 13 - 15

KIRKUS REVIEW

Long-Islander Matt wants a used Boston Whaler and has his eye on one that will cost him around $900. It’s 1973, and he’s 14, but earning that becomes a miraculous possibility when he gets a job as a clam digger with his single mother’s friend, Captain Dan. The all-boy adventure of clamming techniques, equipment, blisters and sunburn is palpably real. Side-by-side, on-the-job training with his divorced, taciturn boss, a hardboiled Vietnam vet, deepens Matt’s angst about his remarried father. Then, his first cousin Jazzy comes from Hawaii to visit over the summer. She’s beautiful, fun and interested in him, yet her character is not fully developed. Her motivation and desires are more of a mystery and a disappointing one for Matt, who sees her come on to him and then dump him for a disreputable guy. Her actions and character, though explained, are not clear and end with an inexplicable resolution to their relationship. The culturally forbidden nature of it doesn’t work well, either. However, Fletcher’s insight into Matt and his boat dreams fly off the page with a solid resonance that will make this a quick, light, summer beach read. (Fiction. 13-15)

Pub Date: Aug. 1st, 2007
ISBN: 978-0-8050-8143-5
Page count: 192pp
Publisher: Henry Holt
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: July 1st, 2007




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