Inventing the rebellious character of Gideon for a class project, Ian loses control of himself when Gideon becomes real to him and gets him into trouble, forcing Ian to admit that he has real problems and that Gideon is only imaginary.
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Grade 7-10?Ian, 15, lives with his grandmother in Australia. For a school assignment over the holidays, he must invent and write about a character. He creates Gideon, a mean-spirited, lawbreaking youth who displays personality traits similar to Ian's dead father and to his grandfather, who is in prison. Mysteriously, Gideon takes control of Ian's life; soon the boy is involved in a car theft, brutally injures his dog, and burglarizes his maternal grandparents' house. When he makes a vulgar pass at his cousin, he realizes the power that his creation holds over him. He tries to kill Gideon, first by destroying the story he'd written and, when that fails, by inventing a new character to battle the evil one. But the dark and secret side of Ian's personality persists until he realizes that he has the power to control Gideon himself. Macdonald uses the writing assignment and the emerging psychological Frankenstein to portray the murky side of the human spirit. Unfortunately, the people are unconvincing. Even the real ones seem unreal, and the influence that Gideon exerts on Ian seems contrived. While the introduction of the second fictional character has possibilities, it goes nowhere, and in the end readers will wonder why Ian is suddenly able to dominate his monster. Though this novel paints striking contrasts, it fails to add new insights into the battle of good v. evil.?Tim Rausch, Crescent View Middle School, Sandy, UT
Copyright 1995 Reed Business Information, Inc.
Gr. 8^-12. As part of a school assignment, Ian creates Gideon, an imaginary rebel, who slowly begins to take over Ian's life. When Ian finds himself at the center of crimes that he doesn't remember committing, he struggles to bring Gideon under control--something he cannot do until he confronts his own past and insecurities. Although the ending is a bit too pat, allowing Ian to escape the consequences of his actions with too few repercussions, the book, overall, is well written. Ian is believable and complex enough to be worth caring about. The elements of teenage turmoil and horror will make it extremely popular with YA readers, exposing them to structure, style, and characterization that are clearly a cut above what most current books in this semihorror genre have to offer. A particularly nice touch is the way Macdonald uses Ian to illustrate the importance of loving, human relationships even when Gideon is at his most alienating. Jeanne Triner
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Book Description Simon & Schuster Children's Publishing, 1995. Hardcover. Book Condition: New. 1st American ed. Bookseller Inventory # DADAX0671510819
Book Description Simon & Schuster Children's Publishing, 1995. Hardcover. Book Condition: New. book. Bookseller Inventory # M0671510819