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Bigotry surfaces at Minitown High when a popular male teacher sexually assaults a delinquent fifteen-year-old girl and the only witnesses are a black boy and a gay student teacher.
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Grade 8 Up Racism, homophobia, and sexual molestation are brought to the forefront in this novel. Childress highlights a three - month period in the interconnected lives of five people considered to be outside the mainstream of society: Jonathan Barnett, a 17-year-old homosexual; Tyrone and Susan Tate, a brother and sister from a wealthy black family; Rex Hardy, a teacher who has sexually molested a student; and Theodora Lynn, a teenager under psychiatric care because she had been sexually molested as a child. Each chapter is told from the point of view of one of these characters or several others. All of the main characters fear having their secret side revealed, and the seemingly-accidental molestation of Theodora by Hardy, witnessed by Jonathan and Tyrone, brings all of these secret sides into view and into play. Society's fears and beliefs are clearly delineated by the characters' reactions to the situations posed. Young people's realistic reactions to having to face these types of problems in themselves or others are skillfully outlined. Childress has presented the problems and reactions with a competence that deserves reading. Even though the situations and setting sometimes seem to over reach reality because of all the coincidences that draw the characters together, Childress does present a disturbing, disquieting novel that reflects another side to life. Kathryn Havris, Mesa Public Library, Ariz.
Copyright 1989 Reed Business Information, Inc.
Rather than begin college, Jonathan, 17, becomes a high school computer instructor, hoping to avoid facing his homosexuality or thinking about his problems. But he is resented by teacher Rex Hardy, who disrupts Jonathan's classes, as does Spencer, a poisonous youth who hates the school's new (and only) black students, Tyrone and Susan Tate. Then Hardy assaults Theodora, Tyrone's computer-lab partner. Theo is determined to press charges for attempted rapewith Jonathan and Tyrone as her only witnesses, and Susan in possession of crucial evidence. Jonathan is caught up in a maelstrom of malicious gossip, threatening phone calls and pressure from the school board, but at last must act for himself. Childress ( A Hero Ain't Nothing but a Sandwich , Rainbow Jordan ) deftly interweaves the first-person narratives of 10 characters to create a penetrating examination of bigotry and racism. Each voicefrom the most sympathetic to the most odiousrings with conviction, and all come together in the fabric of a compelling tale. Ages 13-up.
Copyright 1988 Reed Business Information, Inc.
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Book Description Putnam Juvenile, 1989. Condition: New. book. Seller Inventory # M0399215107
Book Description Condition: New. New. Seller Inventory # STR-0399215107