DOING TIME by Rob Thomas


Notes from the Undergrad
Age Range: 12 - 14
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 From Thomas (Slave Day, p. 306, etc.), an attempt to draw a cross-section of humanity from a group of high-school students performing community service. In the first chapter, as part of a college course, Randall is assigned to follow up on nine high-school seniors who had to do community service projects to graduate, by interviewing them and the participants in their projects. He's a skeptic after his own experience on the receiving end of someone else's community-service project a decade earlier. The next nine chapters are more like short stories, each one a self-contained first-person account by one of the nine seniors: Some perform their service with honor, some with cynicism. Thomas covers a lot of territory and demands that readers keep track of several characters and activities; each narrator establishes himself or herself, describes the mission, learns a lesson, or hits a defining moment, then checks out, without a reappearance of Randall for perspective or hindsight--which leaves the book's premise, and readers, dangling. It's a promising work--it just doesn't feel finished. (Fiction. 12-14)

Pub Date: Oct. 1st, 1997
ISBN: 0-689-80958-1
Page count: 184pp
Publisher: Simon & Schuster
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: Oct. 15th, 1997


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