THE ORPHAN'S TENT by Tom De Haven

THE ORPHAN'S TENT

by & illustrated by
Age Range: 12 & up
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KIRKUS REVIEW

 De Haven (for adults, Derby Dugan's Depression Funnies, p. 549, etc.) makes a quirky gang of New Jersey rock and rollers the unlikely heroes of this hilarious adventure. Ike, community college drop-out turned independent recording producer, isn't a typical YA protagonist, but this twentysomething hard-luck case has traits to endear him to readers: a pessimistic outlook, protective cynicism, and, underneath it all, a desperate sense of isolation. Ike and his sister, Alice, who owns the local record store, meet Del, a pretty drifter bursting with raw talent as a rock singer. Ike's plans for promoting Del abruptly end when she disappears right before a gig; Ike and Alice team up with pals Fletch and Bo to find the missing songbird. Some arguing and amateur sleuthing lead the quartet to the charismatic and sinister Jude Hayser; although he claims to have known Del only briefly, he is connected with the bizarre disappearance of a group of orphans back in the 1930s. Of course, Hayser knows that the orphans were teleported to another world, where he now plans to send Del and himself. The ensuing battle leaps from this world to the next in a burst of excitement, wise-cracking dialogue, and bonhomie. Bing's few black-and-white illustrations add a sense of menace to the story, an incredible and entertaining adventure that never falters in its realistic portrayal of young people, with all their flaws and strengths in focus. (Fiction. 12+)

Pub Date: Sept. 1st, 1996
ISBN: 0-689-31967-3
Page count: 188pp
Publisher: Atheneum
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: Aug. 1st, 1996