Despite the difference in interests and ideas, the friendship that grows between Win, a fourteen-year-old fatherless boy and Elliott, the "big brother" assigned to him, helps the boy learn about himself, his world, and his personal relationships
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Grade 9-12 An emotionally powerful examination of individuality in the face of peer judgments, Elliott & Win tells of a boy's growth through the help of a caring adult. Win is disappointed when he is paired with Elliott, a man who likes opera and gourmet cooking, in a Big Brother type program. He is considerably more upset when his friend Paul teases him that Elliott is homosexual. Elliott's sexual orientation is never revealedit isn't importantfor as Win grows to respect Elliott's values and the broadening experiences that he introduces, he realizes that his own beliefs are more important than the perceptions of others. Set in Santa Fe, this is a well-drawn portrait of a culturally-deprived teen experiencing a different side of life. A subplot involving Win's growing attraction to Heather parallels his friendship with Elliott, in that Heather is also perceived negativelyher large breasts elicit caustic remarks. Heather is the victim of a brutal gang rape, described fully but not salaciously. The only discordant note involves Paul's visit with his father, who turns out to be gay. Until the visit, the blatantly homophobic boy had no reason to suspect that his father is gay, and the revelation comes across as a poorly executed contrivance. This incident, though, does not diminish the impact of the other, credible events that are forcefully related. A well-crafted story of human concerns. David Gale, "School Library Journal"
Copyright 1986 Reed Business Information, Inc.
In her 24th novel, Meyer again invests the chararacters with the humanity that makes them memorable. Win Kelly, 14, tells about events after a group in Santa Fe, providing adult male companions to fatherless boys, signs him up with Elliott Deerfield. A casualty of rough life, surviving life with his mother's broken marriages and affairs, Win finds Elliott's social graces strange. Another boy, Paul, jeers at Elliott, calling him "a faggot," he says, nothing like his own macho father. But Win slowly grows to like and respect the cultivated man whose friendship is a great blessing when Win suffers agonizing guilts. Overpowered by a tough gang, he can't prevent them from raping Heather Key, a girl dear to Win. Later, he pours out his grief to Elliott who says the compassionate, wise words that give the boy solace and hope. Meyer handles the story sensitively and convincingly except for one small instance: It seems too pat that Paul learns his father is homosexual, a kind of retribution for mocking Elliott who may, or may not, be gay. The fact that we never know for sure about Elliott is a nicely ambiguous touch.
Copyright 1987 Reed Business Information, Inc.
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Book Description Simon & Schuster/Paula Wiseman Books. Paperback. Book Condition: Good. Only lightly used. Book has minimal wear to cover and binding. A few pages may have small creases and minimal underlining. Bookseller Inventory # G0020447027I3N00
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