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Going for the Big One

Going for the Big One

by P. J. Petersen

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School Library Journal - School Library Journal
Gr 6-9 While their father is on a trucking haul, teens Annie, Dave, and Jeff are abandoned by their stepmother, who empties the house before she goes. Annie tries to put together a plan of survival for them, but she is stymied by Dave's propensity for stealing. All three soon find themselves fugitives from the law after Jeff and Annie use illegal means to protect Dave from the sheriff. With few provisions, the three runaways set out for a town across a snowy mountain. They meet up with Cracker, a young drug peddler, who was shot by jealous partners. This sets the stage for a series of adventures, including the abandonment of Jeff and Annie by Cracker and Dave. Annie's heroic deeds highlight the story's anti-drug theme: she dumps $100,000 worth of cocaine while Cracker helplessly watches. At the story's conclusion, the three young adventurers, wiser and more mature as a result of their experiences, are met by their father, who promises them leniency from the law. The neatly tied-up story of this wooden novel is heavily message-ladenshow courage in the face of adversity; money isn't everything; drugs are evil; etc. The plot is plodding and predictable, the characters are typed, and their dialogue is flat and unbelievable. This is a far cry from the author's humorous, maverick first novel, Would You Settle for Improbable? (Delacorte, 1981). And ``improbable'' is what Going for the Big One is, at best; few young readers will settle for it. Jack Forman, Mesa College Library, San Diego

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Random House Children's Books
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Age Range:
5 - 17 Years

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