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FULL SERVICE by Will Weaver Kirkus Star


by Will Weaver

Age Range: 14 & up

Pub Date: Oct. 12th, 2005
ISBN: 0-374-32485-9
Publisher: Farrar, Straus and Giroux

A northern Minnesota small town in 1965 is the setting for Paul’s summer of growing maturity while working at a Shell full-service gas station. Weaver’s ability to recreate scenes from the past with accurate detail and the immediacy of a teen point of view has been demonstrated before, but this time it’s pitch perfect. Once again, we have the odd and very religious family, and a freshman boy discovering various sins that his previously sheltered life did not include. It’s all here: drag racing, adultery and theft by coworkers, a retired Chicago mobster who may be a murderer and the constant temptations of sex. Most notable is the parents’ awareness of the world at large and their ability to practice their Christian concepts of acceptance and charity in ways that are unpopular with almost everyone, including Paul. It’s unusual to see individual conscience modeled without preachiness, and without endorsing any particular beliefs. At summer’s end, Paul has gained more than experience and knowledge of the world, but come to terms with an internal ethic he didn’t know he had. Superb. (Fiction. YA)