Publishers Weekly - Publisher's WeeklyAt 17, Michael seems to have everything. His parents and he enjoy a comfortable lifestyle, including a summer house at a beach community called Braden's Port. His father plans to make Michael a partner in the family jewelry business one day. But Michael yearns to set foot outside his sheltered existence. He wants to try to earn his own money and decides he wants to become a social worker, not a jeweler. In one dramatic summer, Michael takes steps toward achieving his goals. Against his parents' wishes, he takes his first jobas a busboy at a restaurant. As Michael gets a taste of the real world, he learns some hard lessons about life. But he is able to handle them and uses them to strengthen himself and his plans for the future. This neatly turned novel manages to weave together a number of themesfamily, self-assertion and relationships, among others. It is told with warmth and a keen understanding of the choices people make. Ages 12-up. (March)
School Library Journal - School Library JournalGr 7-10 Bored with his soft summer lifestyle, 17-year-old Michael Paeglis takes a job as bus boy in a local eatery. His father, a self-made immigrant businessman, is infuriated, for he has higher expectations for his only son. Yet, by summer's end, he comes to understand that Michael has benefited from his exposure to a less protected and less favored side of life. There is pretty Linda, who must work two jobs to put herself through fashion school. And there is Linda's friend, Traci, who is abused by her alcoholic boyfriend, who in a few short years went from local sports hero to short order cook. The problem with the story lies in the characters of Michael and Linda. Michael, whom readers are expected to see as inexperienced, spoiled, and naive, comes across from the beginning as being introspective, mature, and remarkably perceptive. Linda is only slightly older but is wise well beyond her years. Much of the dialogue (``Do you ever wonder who you are and what you're here for?'' ``I'm tired of swimming upstream.'') is overly familiar from too many bad movies. Both Michael and Linda are too much in touch with their feelings to be believable. Of all the characters in the story, Michael's father seems to learn the most from the events of that summer, and that surely wasn't Asher's intention. Robert E. Unsworth, Scarsdale Junior High School, N.Y.
- Random House Children's Books
- Publication date:
- Age Range:
- 12 Years
Meet the Author
Sandy Asher lives in Lancaster, Pennsylvania.
Keith Graves lives in Austin, Texas.
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