NECKING WITH LOUISE by Rick Book

NECKING WITH LOUISE

Stories
Age Range: 12 - 14
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KIRKUS REVIEW

Work, sports, making out, and breaking up: in seven linked stories set in 1965 a Saskatchewan teenager spins vividly personal takes on universal themes of adolescence, adding no fewer than three brushes with death to make the pleasures and pains of life all the more intense. It’s an eventful year for Eric, beginning with a first official date (“The Clodhopper’s Halloween Ball”), ending with his beloved grandfather’s funeral (“Saying Good-Bye to the Tall Man”); in between he nearly dies in a sudden blizzard (“Sun Dogs”), fishes a suicide out of “The River,” plays in a thrilling, hard-fought hockey game, discovers the pleasures of passionate lip-locking in the title story, and becomes conscious of the world outside his own narrow experience during “The Summer I Read Gone With The Wind.” Book’s observant young narrator tells each tale with laconic, sparkling wit (“Louise smiled and red lipstick filled the porch doorway and painted out the rest of the family”). Readers will come to know—and like—Eric and admire the way he rises to every occasion. (Short stories. 12-14)

Pub Date: Aug. 31st, 1999
ISBN: 0-88995-194-2
Page count: 151pp
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: July 1st, 1999