Across the Grain (Aerial Fiction)

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9780374400576: Across the Grain (Aerial Fiction)

After their mother's death, seventeen-year-old Will reluctantly follows his flighty older sister to the desert, where he is determined to make a new and stable life for himself-with or without his sister.

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From School Library Journal:

Grade 8 Up-- At 17, Will is the serious and steady one, looking after his irresponsible older sister, Paige, who, since the death of their mother, has been his legal guardian. Always eager for a change, Paige moves them to a small settlement in the California desert to be close to her latest boyfriend without considering Will's feelings. For him, it means a school switch in his senior year and leaving the ocean, which he loves. There is little to like in the desert, given his exhausting part-time job as a cafe cook, a small trailer shared with messy Paige, the heat, the boredom, and the loneliness. Unexpectedly, Will is forced to abandon his anger and self-pity as Sam Webb, a master carver, becomes the badly needed father-figure he never had. Classmate Mike Macey, the sensitive, often too-intense daughter of an antropologist, is also drawn to Will. Against a backdrop of the desert's beauty and attraction, Will struggles to define himself as a person with needs that take priority over Paige's demands and manipulations. Ferris' major characterizations are strong, perceptive, yet subtle; minor ones fade, and are stereotypes or poorly defined without motivation. The natural settings are superbly painted. The problem that Ferris poses is believable, and the pace should hold the interest of thoughtful YA readers. The resolution is unlikely, but possible, and the author makes readers care about likable, earnest Will and his friends.
- Libby K. White, Schenectady County Pub. Lib., Schenectady, NY
Copyright 1990 Reed Business Information, Inc.

From Publishers Weekly:

Having been placed under the guardianship of unpredictable Paige, 17-year-old Will Griffin has no choice but to go along with his older sister's crazy whims. When Paige decides that she and her brother should rent their house by the ocean and move to a remote desert town, Will is dismayed at the prospect of changing schools and starting a job as a short-order cook at the Snakebite Cafe. Yet after growing accustomed to his new environment, Will's grim outlook begins to change as he forms friendships with two troubled individuals--a whittler and an amateur filmmaker. By emphasizing the expanse, silence and subtle beauty of the desert landscape, Ferris ( Invincible Summer ; Looking for Home ) creates an effective backdrop for the confidential chats and internal reckonings which abound throughout her novel. Although the presentation of male/female roles is somewhat stereotyped, characters' conflicts are convincingly and movingly expressed. Without providing pat resolutions to problems, this book offers some thought-provoking ideas about commitment, dependence and self-discovery. Ages 12-up.
Copyright 1990 Reed Business Information, Inc.

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Ferris, Jean
Published by Farrar, Straus and Giroux (BYR (1993)
ISBN 10: 0374400571 ISBN 13: 9780374400576
New Paperback Quantity Available: 2
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Book Description Farrar, Straus and Giroux (BYR, 1993. Paperback. Book Condition: New. Never used!. Bookseller Inventory # P110374400571

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