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STEFAN’S STORY by Valerie Hobbs


by Valerie Hobbs

Age Range: 10 - 12

Pub Date: Aug. 14th, 2003
ISBN: 0-374-37240-3
Publisher: Frances Foster/Farrar, Straus & Giroux

Stefan Crouch, 13 and an amateur naturalist, journeys to Oregon to visit his best friend Carolina, whom he has not seen for two years. Stefan frets about how things will go now that they are teenagers, as any boy would. The trip is far from routine for Stefan, though, because he’s wheelchair-bound. Aside from the logistical hassles this poses, Stefan must deal with budding sexuality from a different perspective than most boys; the girls at school don’t even view him as a “real guy.” Much to his relief, he and Carolina are as comfortable together as they used to be, and Stefan develops a major crush. He has a rival in Zach, a rebellious, motorcycle-driving older boy visiting the small town in Oregon from LA. In the end, Stefan’s a hero for body-blocking the loggers about to cut down an old-growth forest and Zack, in an over-the-top twist, is arrested for attempted murder for cutting the brake lines of a logger’s truck. Hobbs raises interesting issues regarding Stefan’s disability, but even the Zach subplot can’t jumpstart this one. (Fiction. 10-12)