Bridge to Courage

Bridge to Courage

by Ann H. Gabhart

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
A (somewhat vaguely explained) near-mishap years ago has left 15-year-old Luke with an intense fear of bridges. His father, who designs these structures, expresses blatant disdain for his son's phobia. The boy hopes that his acceptance into a daredevil gang will enhance his parent's image of him, but the club's final initiation requirement involves walking across a railroad bridge. This act is unthinkable to Luke and, branded a coward by the gang, he becomes a social outcast. His trauma is alternately assuaged and escalated by Shea, a ``beyond just pretty'' schoolmate, and Skeets, the bully who adores her. Gabhart ( Two of a Kind ) belabors his attenuated story line, in which the martyred protagonist accepts his undeserved (and somewhat unbelievable) ostracism too stoically. Yet in a climactic scene, Luke's courage emerges--providing needed tension and suggesting that anxieties can be quelled in the course of helping others. Ages 12-up. (Feb.)
Stuart Miller
Because he is scared to death of bridges, Luke walks away from the initiation rites of the elite Truelanders. Turning his back on this powerful group of teens means being an outcast, shunned by everyone and harassed by Skeet, the local high school bully. Luke can't remember the origins of his acrophobia, but his father, a bridge builder, is ashamed of him. As Luke faces his isolation, he becomes friendly in fits and starts with Shea Ashburn, the only one not afraid of speaking to him. As the harassment continues, Luke finds the self-confidence to stand up for himself. When Ray, Shea's twin, is offered a chance to join the Truelanders, and Shea senses something is wrong, Luke, Shea, and Skeet go after Ray and meet more than darkness and silence in the midnight woods. Gabhart's deftly plotted tale, rich in characters, poignantly explores the theme of courage. The reader is never quite sure where each twist in the action will lead, making this page-turner a thoroughly satisfying read.

Product Details

HarperCollins Publishers
Publication date:
Age Range:
11 Years

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