HOMEBIRD by Terence Blacker


Age Range: 11 - 13
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 A wry, loosely knit story of a British teenager who experiments with running away. Sent to boarding school in an effort to boost his grades, Nicky learns that his parents are pulling apart; when he comes home hoping to mend matters, he sees his dad wining and dining a secretary. Disgusted almost as much by the clichÇ as by the situation, Nicky moves into an abandoned house with a colony of squatters--felons all, except for Carla, the leader's attractive black moll; becomes a car thief, falls in with a quirky street-person, and, finally, weary and ragged, calls his distraught parents to bring him home. There's little violence here, but there's also little tension; meanwhile, the characters are standard issue: one school bully, one adolescent older sister, one burglar, one drug dealer, one prostitute (the last two work entirely offstage). Nicky is more aware of the squalor and discomfort he encounters than the perils of street life, and all he has to show for his experience is an invitation from Carla to look her up in a few years. The danger and cast of runaways in Nelson's The Beggar's Ride (1992) are far more vividly drawn. (Fiction. 11- 13)

Pub Date: April 30th, 1993
ISBN: 0-02-710685-3
Page count: 140pp
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: May 1st, 1993


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