On the worst day of her life, Dorothea Dorfman learns that her twin brother Dale is dead, accidentally shot while playing with a gun. Now that Dorothea's the only member of the Twin Protectors, a secret club that she and Dale started so they could stick up for each other, she can't stop thinking about their number one rule--never delay a payback. And Dorothea is not about to let her brother down.
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James VanOosting is the author of two previous books for young readers, Maxie's Ghost and Electing J.J. Mr. VanOosting is a professor of performance studies at Southern Illinois University, where he teaches craetive writing and the performance of children's literature. He lives in Murphysboro, IL.From Kirkus Reviews:
VanOosting (Electing J.J., 1990, etc.) takes a refreshingly unsentimental tack in this tale of a 12-year-old who sets out to get the whole story of her twin brother's death, and to avenge it as well. What really frosts Dorothea--or Dimple, as she insists on being called--is that no one will tell her how Dale died. She has to read it in the paper: He was shot accidentally while playing with a gun with their friend Ronnie. Dimple once considered Ronnie a candidate for marriage, but now, as sole surviving member of the Twin Protection Society (motto: ``Never delay a payback''), she knows what she has to do. In the meantime, there's the visitation to endure, then the funeral itself and all the condolences. Telling her tale in a present-tense, modern idiom, Dimple comes across as feisty, determined, broadly irreverent, and genuine--she's capable, even in her anger and grief, of wondering how undertakers prepare people who have been shot in the face (not that Dale was). Readers expecting the tragic tone of Bridge to Terabithia (1977) and similar books are in for a shock, but the experience of loss is not trivialized; it wells up beneath Dimple's narrative and comes out explosively when she confronts Ronnie, finds a second gun that his appallingly careless parents have left in the house, and demands the whole truth. VanOosting takes a real risk here, but carries it off, thanks to an irrepressible protagonist, a sturdy supporting cast, and a strong, affirmative finish. (Fiction. 10-12) -- Copyright ©1997, Kirkus Associates, LP. All rights reserved.
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