The Horn Book Guide
Tri-State YA Book Review Committee
"The cover art will capture readers' attention but the brief, compelling story will snag readers' thoughts and have them turning the pages as quickly as they can read...The family characters shown here are spare, but believable as low-income, struggling, and imperfect. Readers may identify with these gritty characters."
Atlantic Books Today
"Grant is adept at creating highly engaging stories...The plot is briskly paced and straightforward, and is likely to capture the interest of contemporary teen readers. The dialogue is snappy and realistic, and Paddy's first-person narration allows readers to easily understand his motivations and point of view throughout the story...Accessible and compelling."
"This fast-paced storyan entry in the Orca Soundings series for reluctant readerstakes us on a roller-coaster ride of a mixed-up family as Paddy processes new information and deals with new relationships. The crux of the story is a fascinating paternity case."
"The theme of how people can best parent, and the underlying fear of every adolescent that their true parent MUST be someone else are foremost in this short novel, and will fascinate those struggling readers, especially boys...Teens in conflict with parents and unsure of their future will empathize with Paddy and be drawn into his drama."
Children's Literature - Lauri Berkenkamp
Paddy Armstrong cannot stand his stepfather, Anthony. When Anthony pesters Paddy one time too many about what his future plans are, Paddy tells Anthony he is going to join the Army; and alienates not only Anthony, but everyone else in his family and his girlfriend, as well. The only person who seems to understand Paddy's decision is his father, John, who had been in the Navy for twelve years. But when Paddy tells his father that he has already had his pre-enlistment physical and the only concern the doctor had was regarding Paddy's unusual B-negative blood type, Paddy's world starts to crash around him. His father cancels a fishing trip and disappears. When Paddy goes to his father's apartment to find him, Paddy discovers that his father has been researching blood types: his father's blood type is A postitive, as is Paddy's mothers'. Paddy realizes that he cannot be John's son. But Paddy does know someone who has B negative blood: his stepfather, Anthony. Eventually Paddy realizes that both John and Anthony are important people in his life. The conclusion of the novel is a little too pat and pretty unrealistic, but the message of forgiveness is a good one. Reviewer: Lauri Berkenkamp
Read an Excerpt
I'm suddenly mad at him. Mad at him for drinking. Mad at him for smoking. Mad at him for taking off on me. Mad at him for not being my father.