SLAVE DAY by Rob Thomas


Age Range: 13 & up
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 ``Slaves'' and their buyers raise considerably more than money at a Texas high school in this wild, multistranded teen tale from Thomas (Rats Saw God, 1996). Keene Davenport wants to raise consciousness about a school tradition that demeans African-Americans, so when his letter to the editor has no effect, he ``buys'' basketball star Shawn Greeley, the first black president of the student council, and sets him to picking up cotton balls in the halls, shining shoes, and similar tasks. Sleek Tiffany Delvoe raises eyebrows by purchasing geeky Brendan (for an uncontested $100 bid), aspiring thespian and history-class flunkee Tommy ``Trailer'' Parks pays for the services of by-the-book history teacher Mr. Twilley, and so on; using eight narrators, Thomas takes readers through a tumultuous day and evening that includes an attempted rape, a successful computer-hack break-in, and all manner of personal crises, revelations, vindications, growth, and just deserts. The many first-person narrations sound fairly alike, so it's hard to keep track of who's who, but the headlong pace, rapid-fire wisecracking, and sustained intensity of mood twisting through subplots scary, sobering, hilarious, and triumphant keep the energy level high in this pointed, meaty farce. (Fiction. 13+)

Pub Date: April 1st, 1997
ISBN: 0-689-80206-4
Page count: 188pp
Publisher: Simon & Schuster
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: Feb. 15th, 1997


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