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A young girl who likes to read stories about courageous people, must find her own form of courage when she discovers that a boy with AIDS has been mandated to attend her school and other students and parents react with hysteria
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Grade 5-8-- With ease and candor, Laura Leonora Fine describes several seventh grade events that help affirm her first-amendment values. Her secret infatuation with golden-haired Raymond ends when he reveals the hostility he feels for an AIDS-infected boy. In contrast, Laura joins the ostracized newcomer for lunch. She debates the meaning and consequences of plagiarism--an ethical rather than first-amendment issue--when a fellow student is put on trial by his classmates. And, her anxiety over accepting the role of Scrooge in the Christmas play dissipates when her teacher notes that the play's messages of warmth and compassion are found in both Christian and Jewish heritages. Unlike the courageous literary figures she admires, Laura's courage is barely tested. The suspense never builds, and Laura's naivete about AIDS undermines the effect of her stepping forward to welcome the new student. Her values are well established at story's beginning and end. Her hard-working, congenial parents and her wise, devoted grandfather give her security, confidence, and lessons in generosity and fairness. Consequently, in the final pages, her mother's AIDS hysteria followed by a sudden appreciation of her daughter's bravery seems contrived. Cohen has again created an appealing assortment of characters in Laura, her family, and her classmates, but the plot is unfocused, and the issue of AIDS is introduced but not examined. It is more of a pat on the back for established values than a study in character development. --Gerry Larson, Chewning Junior High School, Durham, NC
Copyright 1991 Reed Business Information, Inc.
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Book Description Dutton Juvenile, 1990. Hardcover. Condition: New. Never used!. Seller Inventory # P110525673172
Book Description Dutton Juvenile, 1990. Condition: New. book. Seller Inventory # M0525673172