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PLAYING DEAD by Tim Bowler

PLAYING DEAD

Blade, Book One

By Tim Bowler

Age Range: 14 & up

Pub Date: May 1st, 2009
ISBN: 978-0-399-25186-3
Publisher: Philomel

Fourteen-year-old Blade (aka Slicky) is a smart homeless kid who gets caught in many wrong places at a lot of wrong times. He’s been on the run from the police since he was seven, sneaking into houses and stealing people’s wallets to survive. After an attack from a girl gang, he both witnesses and is accused of multiple murders. On the run from both the girl gang and the boys who murdered their leader, he joins up with Becky, a 16-year-old mother who is trying to get away from the gang. Although he has always operated alone, Blade decides to let Becky and her daughter accompany him as he attempts to bring justice to the murderers. The action is fast-paced, but the book is thin on character development and the ending lacks resolution, perhaps because it is the first book in a series. Much about Blade’s present but little about his past is revealed, which may entice readers to pick up the sequel if they don’t put this book down in frustration. (Fiction. YA)