James Lincoln Collier Outside Looking In

ISBN 13: 9781620646854

Outside Looking In

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9781620646854: Outside Looking In
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At fourteen, Fergy is tired of his familys life style. Hes tired of living in a van with his parents, J. P. and Gussie, and his younger sister, Ooma. Hes sick of peddling honey and pamphlets of his fathers writings. And most of all he hates stealing things, even though J. P. says its all right to reclaim necessities from society. Fergy listens to J. P. talk about the evils of the system, and gradually Fergy realizes that he no longer believes or respects his father. In fact, Fergy longs more than anything to be a part of that system! One day, when Fergys father steals a motor home from an elderly couple who have befriended them, Fergy knows the time has come to act. Hes fed up, and he has to escape. Early one morning, with Ooma in tow, Fergy runs away. Gussies wealthy parents live in Boston, and Fergy hopes that if he can find them, he and Ooma can have the regular and normal life he longs for. How Fergy comes to grips with his relationship with his parents and his own expectations makes a provocative, at times painful, but always absorbing story about a boys determination to make a better life for himself.

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About the Author:

James Lincoln Collier has written many books for children, including Give Dad My Best and Planet Out of the Past. Mr. Collier has also contributed more than five hundred articles to the New York Times Magazine, Reader’s Digest, and Boy’s Life.

From School Library Journal:

Grade 5-8 His family's way of life holds no appeal for 14-year-old Fergy: drop-outs from society, they hawk honey and pamphlets from their trailer and ``reclaim'' items from supermarkets and stores. Fergy, beginning to doubt the wisdom of J.P.'s (his father's) philosophy, is certain that he would prefer a more settled existence, with schooling, and is worried that his younger sister, Ooma, who frequently steals, is headed for disaster. J.P.'s theft of a motor home from the elderly couple who befriended the children precipitates Fergy's running away with Ooma to their maternal grandparents, whom they had never met. Ensconsed in their luxurious home, Fergy is finally ``on the inside.'' In a whirlwind conclusion, J.P. is arrested and his wife returns to live in her parents' home to rethink her life. In addressing a boy's dilemma over his sense of morality versus his responsibility to his parents, Collier raises some important questions, but this novel is not totally satisfying. The fact that J.P.'s philosophy is so simplistic and that the grandparents are so wealthy and loving almost makes Fergy's decision one of black or white in a real world that is full of grays. The conclusion is hasty and easy, lacking the thoughtful development that marked the earlier sections of this book. Yet this is an engaging, fast-paced story, and readers, who will appreciate this view of these unorthodox characters, will have much to think about and discuss. David Gale, ``School Library Journal''
Copyright 1987 Reed Business Information, Inc.

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Collier, James Lincoln
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