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Gentlehands
     

Gentlehands

4.6 16
by M. E. Kerr
 

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Buddy Boyle lives year-round with his family in unfashionable Seaville, New York, in a cramped little house on the bay. Skye Pennington spends the summers nearby on lavish estate complete with ocean view and a butler named Peacock.

But Skye and Buddy fall in love anyway. And every once in a while they visit Buddy's estranged grandfather, who makes them forget

Overview

Buddy Boyle lives year-round with his family in unfashionable Seaville, New York, in a cramped little house on the bay. Skye Pennington spends the summers nearby on lavish estate complete with ocean view and a butler named Peacock.

But Skye and Buddy fall in love anyway. And every once in a while they visit Buddy's estranged grandfather, who makes them forget they're from opposite sides of town. Then a reporter appears, searching for a man known as Gentlehands, a man with a horrifying past. Who is Gentlehands? And what is his connection to Buddy's handsome, aristocratic grandfather? The mystery threatens to shatter Buddy and Skye's relationship, and change their lives forever.

Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher

“Kerr at her provocative best.” —School Library Journal

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780064470674
Publisher:
HarperCollins Publishers
Publication date:
05/28/2001
Series:
Ursula Nordstrom Book Series
Edition description:
Reissue
Pages:
208
Product dimensions:
4.21(w) x 6.82(h) x 0.57(d)
Lexile:
830L (what's this?)
Age Range:
13 - 17 Years

Read an Excerpt

Chapter One

I wonder what that summer would have been like if I'd never met Skye Pennington. They always seem to have names like that, don't they? Rich, beautiful girls are never named Elsie Pip or Mary Smith. They have these special names and they say them in their particular tones and accents, and my mother was right, I was in over my head or out of my depth, or however she put it. My father said, "She's not our class, Buddy." This conversation the first night I took her out.

I was in the bathroom, pretending to shave. I'm a towhead, like all male Boyles, and at sixteen my beard is not a burden; it's not even a fact.

My mother was just outside, in the hall, pretending to straighten out the linen closet.

Streaker, my five-year-old brother, was around the corner in our bedroom, pretending he could play Yahtzee alone.

My father was using the top of the toilet seat like a chair, while he discussed the matter with me.

"She's not in our class?" I said. "What does that even mean?"

I knew what it meant. It meant we lived year round in Seaville, New York, on a seedy half-acre lot up near the bay, and Skye summered on five oceanview acres at the other end of town.

Another thing it meant was that my dad was a sergeant in the Seaville police force, and Skye's dad was head of Penn Industries.

"Do you actually pay attention to that stuff?" I said, as if I never did.

"Buddy, that stuff is a fact of life." My mother's voice from the hall. "Sad but true."

"Inge, am I handling this, or are you?" said my father.

"Oh excuse me for living," my mother said.

"I thought you asked me to handle it."

"I askedyou to talk to him."

"What is there to talk about?" I said.

"What there is to talk about is where the hell you're spending all your money!"

"Don't get mad at him, Billy," said my mother. "I said to talk to him, not to shout at him."

"It's my money, isn't it? I earned it," I said.

"Since when do you spend your money on clothes?" my father said.

"If you know where I'm spending my money, why do you want to talk about where I'm spending it?" I said.

"You're spending it on clothes like some girl!" my father shouted.

"He's spending it on clothes because of some girl!" my mother shouted.

"I don't spend one hundred and fifty dollars on clothes in six months' time," said my father."You've spent that much in one month!"

"You wear a uniform half the time," I said.

"Buddy, I don't even spend that much on clothes in six months," said my mother.

I wiped my face with a towel and said between my teeth, slowly, "I do not plan to spend one hundred and fifty dollars every month on clothes. I just needed new things, that's all. I can't go everywhere in dumb, stupid jeans, old shirts, patched pants, and dumb, stupid worn-out shoes!"

"It's summer, for God's sake!" said my father. "Who are you expecting to meet?"

"He's already met her," said my mother.

"She must be some hotsy-totsy phony!" said my father.

"Well it's been nice talking to you, Dad," I said.

"I can't talk to you," he said.

"You've just proven that," I said.

He got up and sighed and stood for a minute with his hands on his hips. He looked miserable, but I didn't help him out any. He'd just had a haircut and he has these big ears, and he had that raw kid's look that was in all the old photographs of the days when he and my mother were first married. Whenever I looked at the family album I felt sorry for my father. He'd be standing in our yard, which didn't have any trees in those days or any grass; he'd be holding this little bundle in his arms with a little head sticking out of it (that was me) and he'd look like he'd sure bitten off more than he could chew. My mother was quite a beauty in those days and she looked sure of herself and up to settling down and being a wife and mother, but there was something about my poor dad that said he should have still been riding bicycles with the boys, or hanging around the pizza parlor making cracks at the girls who went by. He didn't look ready for the Mr. and Mrs. Towels my grandmother Boyle had given them for a wedding present.

"I don't know, Buddy," my father said. He ran his palm through his short-cropped hair and shook his head. He never could talk very well about things and he hated it that he sometimes got mad when he was trying to.

"Don't worry," I said. "I'm watching it."

"Yeah," he said, as though he had his doubts.

"I didn't buy me a tuxedo yet," I said. I smiled at him.

He gave me back one of his red-faced, lopsided smiles and said, "That'll be next, a monkey suit. Huh?" He gave me a punch in my gut.

I feinted one near his jaw. "Don't worry," I said. "I won't make your mistake."

"What's my mistake?"

"Getting married before you were dry behind your ears.

"Oh I like that," said my mother. "Thanks a lot for that."

My dad laughed and sniffed and tried to land another one on me.I ducked and said, "Get outta here."

He threw his hands up in the air and muttered something like "oh what the heck," then walked out.So much for our talk...

Meet the Author

M. E. Kerr was born Marijane Meaker in Auburn, New York. Her interest in writing began with her father, who loved to read, and her mother, who loved to tell stories of neighborhood gossip. Unable to find an agent to represent her work, Meaker became her own agent, and wrote articles and books under a series of pseudonyms: Vin Packer, Ann Aldrich, Laura Winston, M. E. Kerr, and Mary James. As M. E. Kerr, Meaker has produced over twenty novels for young adults and won multiple awards, including the Margaret A. Edwards Award for her lifetime contribution to young adult literature. 

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Gentlehands 4.7 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 17 reviews.
brooke_caste12 More than 1 year ago
Gentlehands was a very good book and a good way to learn about the Holocaust from a teenager's perspective. I really liked this book because I could make a connection with the main character, Buddy, since we are the same age {it was very relatable with my age being the same as the main character's age, Buddy.} Buddy is a 16 year-old who is of middle class and dates an 18 year-old over the summer who is of the higher class. He of course tries to impress her by spending time with his "rich" grandfather, without knowing too much about him. Later on in the story you find out something which turns the whole story around and affects everyone in the story. I understood this story very well and it was easy to read. The end was a little shocking and I wished it had gone on a little longer; but overall it was a very good story.
Guest More than 1 year ago
This book was AMAZING!!! Anything with sex, drugs, and scary Nazis is pretty good!!!
Guest More than 1 year ago
This book was great, it held me in suspense untill it's climax it is on the scale of 1-10 an 11
Guest More than 1 year ago
Great beginning it kept me reading all threw out the night i couldnt put it down
MarilynMonroe1000 More than 1 year ago
This book is amazing, read it in 7th grade and kept reading it since
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
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Guest More than 1 year ago
Gentlehands is a great book. I just got really into after the first few minutes and I could not put the book down, literally.
Guest More than 1 year ago
I think Gentle hands is a very good book. It starts out with a boy named Buddy Boyle who falls in love with a girl named Skye Pennington. Buddys parents don't agree with what he is doing because they feel that skye is out of Buddys league. Skye owns a big summer home. Buddys parents start to get worried when Buddy is spending more time with Skye and is starting to neglect his brother. To impress Skye, Buddy takes her out to her Grandfathers that buddy hasn't seen since he was little. Buddy spends many days out with his grandfather and he grows to like him. Buddy still likes him after a deep dark secret about him is revealed. Buddy supports his grandfather all the way through and it turns into who he trusts more, his parents or his grandfather.
Guest More than 1 year ago
In the book Gentlehands there is a boy named Buddy Boyle, and a girl named Skye Pennington. Now Buddy comes from a poor family and Skye is from a big wealthy family!! She comes every summer to her house is Seaville! Buddy's parents disapprove of Skye becuase she is so wealthy, but Buddy disregaurds them! Buddy also comes very close to his Grandfater Trenker. His mother doesn't like her father becuase her mother said a lot of bad things about him! In the end a dectective accuses Buddy's grandfather of being a Nazi that played Opera music while he tourted Jews. If you want to find out if he gets accused then you will have to read the book! I hope you enjoy it!
Guest More than 1 year ago
this book was great.Buddy and skye have great relationship. WEll what happens when the summer is over or someone is proven guilty well read the book and find out!!!!!
Guest More than 1 year ago
Gentlehands is one of the greatest books I have ever read. Buddy Boyle goes through some hard times during his summer vacation... He learns valuable lessons about life and responsibility. It's a good book for any teenager.
Guest More than 1 year ago
I would recommend this book as it gives young people an insight into the horrors of NAZI Germany. Gentlehands only gives a brief, but deep understanding of how events can always come back to haunt you even years later and how even NAZI officers are human beings! M.E.Kerr is able to give over this introduction by using the relationships of youth to understand the issue of the Holocaust and whilst moving the issue away from basic text book history into a world that is as relevant today, this thought bending booking will shock and amaze. Afterall, if you think that NAZI's walk around with shaved heads, this book will make you think again!
Guest More than 1 year ago
I had to read this book for a clas project, and it looked boring but as soon as i read the first couple of pages i got interested in it! This is truly one of the Best books I've ever read!
Guest More than 1 year ago
I really liked this book. The ending was totally unpredictable. I think that you should read it if you like sad stories or realistic fiction and such.
Guest More than 1 year ago
The book had sex, drugs, and other teenage conflicts but other than that it wasn't so great.