Sam's world turns upside down when his wealthy uncle dies and his emotionally fragile aunt walks out on his cousin. Suddenly cousins Lisa and Robyn must leave their comfortable house and move in with Sam's family. Sam's house is small and chaotic, and his mother is tough as nails. To make matter worse, Sam is attracted to the coolly beautiful Lisa, but she thinks he's a jerk.
Confronted with the common goal of finding Lisa's mother, both Sam and Lisa are forced to face reality. Sam must accept that his mother will always lack finesse, and Lisa relizes her mother isn't as strong as she wants her to be. What else will Sam and Lisa discover as they pull together to search for Lisa's missing mother?
From the Paperback edition.
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Harry Mazer's The Last Mission is drawn closely from his experiences as a seventeen-year-old in the Army Air Corps. Like Jack, he was a Jewish boy from the Bronx full of fantasies about heroism, and like Jack, he became a waist gunner and never fired his guns. He remembers, "I was scared every time we flew....On our 26th mission we flew over Pilzen, Czechoslovakia, to bomb the Skoda Munitions Works. We missed our target, turned over the target again, and were hit. I saw Mike, who was our radio operator, frozen in the door of the radio room. He never made it out of the plane. Only three of us parachuted....No one in the plane lived." ( ALAN Review, Fall 1980)
Harry Mazer is the editor of Twelve Shots: Outstanding Short Stories About Guns, where twelve authors explore the extreme emotions that guns provoke in all of us. Walter Dean Myers, Rita Williams-Garcia, Richard Peck and other well-known authors create a riveting collection of short fiction that explores the emotion-driven world of guns.
When Lisa's father dies, the supposedly wealthy family is left penniless. As her mother learns the truth about their destitution, she can't cope and walks out, deserting Lisa and her younger sister, Robin. In desperation, Lisa turns to her cousin Sam's family for a needed but unwanted salvation. Sam sees Lisa as a desirable but unreachable object who is far superior to him in all aspects of life; Lisa sees Sam and his family as vulgar and uncouth. But as Sam and Lisa pull together to find Lisa's mother, they both discover their own strengths and weaknesses. In alternating chapters, Lisa and and Sam's reactions to the vicissitudes of life after this sudden reversal are delineated in a wholly reasonable and realistic style. With his usual facility, Mazer scrutinizes familial relationships and finds them wanting and comforting at the same time. Adults are not shadowy figures but fully drawn persons with both virtues and failings. Sam and Lisa are good examples of young adults facing up to their impotence but relying on one another to fill in the gaps. A book that's well done and interesting enough for reluctant readers. --Kathryn Havris, Mesa Public Library, AZ
Copyright 1990 Reed Business Information, Inc.
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Book Description Delacorte Books for Young Readers, 1990. Hardcover. Book Condition: New. book. Bookseller Inventory # M0385301618