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Kenny is fourteen. His dad has just died, and to keep the family together, Kenny must find work. "Be careful going through the flatlands," his mother warns him. "Don't stop for anyone." But Kenny does stop, and what happens next will define the man he becomes. This collection of six stories set in Australia spans seventy years. Defining moments in each character's story exhibit the human will to press on even during vulnerable times. With supple, evocative prose and compelling characters, Wolf on the Fold examines those critical moments of collision between adolescence and the adult world. Judith Clarke captures the essence of people's lives, whatever their time in history or their social background.
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Judith Clarke is the author of a dozen novels for young adults. She lives in Melbourne, Australia.From School Library Journal:
Grade 10 Up-In this novel, six loosely connected short stories that may be read independently follow four Australian generations through their few ups and many downs. The first story takes place during the Great Depression, when 14-year-old Kenny's father has died and the teen drops out of school to support his family. The fifth is set in 1991, in war-stressed Israel. These events give the collection an overall historical perspective. Kenny's two daughters, who are introduced at their dying father's bedside, thread in and out of the stories. Readers meet them again as teens, and then follow them into their separate middle-aged lives. The final selection is a reflection on the present; Kenny's great-grandson is trying to fend off the emotional fallout from his parents' shouting sprees. From Kenny's hard-luck times of surviving the Depression, to his great-grandson's plugging his ears against the reality of a contemporary "happy home," this family's cycle tracks a jagged path of irony. All of these stories carry strong themes of youth facing the misfortunes of adult reality-poverty, death, emigration, divorce, senility, psychosis, war, peer cruelty. Clarke's writing is strong and competent; her subject matter is haunting and evocative, but the book is missing an overall teen voice/perspective/narrative and is not likely to appeal to a YA audience. It's a sad family recollection, tuned toward an adult ear.
Alison Follos, North Country School, Lake Placid, NY
Copyright 2002 Cahners Business Information, Inc.
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Book Description Front Street imprint of Boyds, 2002. Hardcover. Condition: New. Never used!. Seller Inventory # P111886910790