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When Mark discovers money and a note concealed in a copy of a library book, he undertakes a quest that leads to more knowledge of himself
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With the chance opening of a dusty copy of Great Expectations, a young man is plunged into a mysterious scavenger hunt that leads him all over his native city of Pittsburgh and straight into an unexpected romance. The quest begins when Mark finds $300 and a set of directions in a library book. After accepting the stated conditions and tracking down the first few clues, he is instructed by his unknown benefactor to select a companion for the quest. "This person is to be a different sex from your own... but may not be a friend of yours at present." Mark settles on Zeena Curry, a striking, smart girl. Zeena cautiously accepts Mark's offer, even though her black mother's painful divorce from her white father has made her distrustful of people outside her race. Together, they experience several narrow escapes--including one that lands Mark in the emergency room nursing a concussion--before coming to the conclusion that they just might be in love. Impatiently, they strive toward their shared goal, hoping for a big payoff, not realizing until the end that the journey itself may have been their greatest reward.
Rife with interesting tidbits of historical Pittsburgh lore, the cryptically worded quest will keep teens eagerly moving through the 200-plus pages of this novel. It is the author's exploration of Mark and Zeena's relationship, however, that provides the heart of Another Kind of Monday. By framing this unlikely couple within a enigmatic journey, William E. Coles Jr. has created a young adult novel that is neither mystery nor romance but the best parts of both. (Ages 13 and older) --Jennifer HubertFrom School Library Journal:
Grade 7-10?It's quite another kind of Monday when a Pittsburgh high school senior finds three one-hundred dollar bills and a mysterious note between the pages of a library copy of Great Expectations. In it, an anonymous benefactor challenges the finder to accept a quest. Mark goes along and begins what will become an obsession over the next few months. The convoluted clues he finds are written in a combination of didactic prose and awkward verse, invoking both literary and local historical figures and events, and are always accompanied by increasing amounts of cash. Forced by the quest to confront social injustices of the past and some unsavory aspects of the present, the teen finds himself reevaluating his beliefs and plans. He alienates his blond girlfriend when he chooses Zeena, an enigmatic African American girl, as his research partner. In the end, there is no great fortune or sudden revelation to be had; the reward is in the journey, and in the education, self-knowledge, and relationships accumulated along the way. This is enough for Mark and Zeena, but readers may be disappointed after plowing through large doses of local history, social issues, and family problems, to find that the mysterious benefactor and his motivation are still unknown. Many of the minor characters are promising but undeveloped, and some are one-dimensional. Mark and Zeena are sympathetic, credible creations, but their story is occasionally obscured by an excess of unexplained plot twists and lengthy descriptions.?Susan L. Rogers, Chestnut Hill Academy, PA
Copyright 1996 Reed Business Information, Inc.
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