Johnny Hazzard

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Overview


Take one Texan adolescent. Move him to suspicious London for a summer. Mix in a quest for experience and a mysterious older girl. The result? This fantastic hardcover debut from Eddie de Oliveira.

Johnny Hazzard's an American boy living in London for the summer. He's not used to being a foreigner, and even less used to fending for himself. Then he meets an older girl named January and suddenly his quest for experience is taking some unexpected...

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Overview


Take one Texan adolescent. Move him to suspicious London for a summer. Mix in a quest for experience and a mysterious older girl. The result? This fantastic hardcover debut from Eddie de Oliveira.

Johnny Hazzard's an American boy living in London for the summer. He's not used to being a foreigner, and even less used to fending for himself. Then he meets an older girl named January and suddenly his quest for experience is taking some unexpected turns.
This is a novel about growing up American, growing up in the world, and growing up in the face of love. Eddie de Oliveira writes with vim, vigor, and verve about coming of age in our very uncertain, complicated age.

Fifteen-year-old Johnny Hazzard's seventh obligatory summer in London with his divorced father livens up when Johnny meets an older girl named January.

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Editorial Reviews

Children's Literature
Fifteen-year-old American Johnny Hazzard is headed for England. Ever since his parents' divorce, he and his sister have spent their summers with their father and Johnny dreads it. He likes his dad well enough, but he does not like leaving his home behind. Johnny worries about his mother, and he misses his friends. Worst of all, he hates the isolation of being in a country where he does not know anyone and has a hard time making friends. All of that changes when Johnny meets nineteen-year-old January. They share an interest in skateboarding and an intense mutual attraction for each other. Suddenly, the summer seems much more interesting. Johnny cannot believe such a hot girl is attracted to him, but she is. He is sure that he has found love. Johnny is in for a wild ride . . . but will it last? DeOliveira's book is a realistic, but controversial coming of age story. 2005, Push/Scholastic, Ages 15 up.
—Heidi Hauser Green
VOYA
Have you ever been walking in the airport near someone on a cell phone who is busy commenting on his life? I got off the plane. I'm walking in the terminal. I just passed the McDonalds. That is the feeling right from the start as de Oliveira describes in detail the sights, sounds, and tastes of Johnny Hazzard's trip from his mother's home in Austin, Texas, to his father's apartment in London, England. But once Johnny gets to London, it becomes a more engaging tale of a skateboarding Yank abroad. Johnny is fifteen, ready to reject childhood, but not quite sure of the ways of the adult world-girls in particular. Soon enough, he loses his heart and virginity to an English girl, January, who is three years older than he. The romance is well told, the sex scenes well done, and the whirl of confusion in Johnny's love-turned head spot on. The story, however, loses steam midway once Johnny leaves England for an extended vacation, with visits to the gravesites of World War I soldiers and too much information about Belgium's history. So readers get Johnny's political coming-of-age as well-he learns that war is bad. The pacing is so strange; in one chapter, January is performing oral sex on Johnny in an open field in England, whereas a few chapters later, Johnny is walking over the battlefields of the war-to-end-all-wars. This fun, funny, and funky coming-of-age story gets bogged down in details and distractions that may limit its appeal. VOYA CODES: 3Q 3P S (Readable without serious defects; Will appeal with pushing; Senior High, defined as grades 10 to 12). 2005, Push/Scholastic, 335p., Ages 15 to 18.
—Patrick Jones
School Library Journal
Gr 9 Up-Johnny, 15, is spending his sixth summer with his father in London. This year, he decides, he's not a kid anymore: he flirts with the flight attendant, goes out pubbing with his older sister, finds the skateboard-positive South Bank, and falls head over heels in love with an 18-year-old British girl who is full of her own newfound worldliness. Johnny's summer-and his development as a character who seems realistically torn between emotional complexity and bluster-unfolds along a fairly straightforward schema that includes insightful consideration of parental feelings, protected but explicit sex, and a vague mystery about his sister's own social life. The story takes a rather sudden turn, however, when Johnny's family vacations in Belgium, and he comes face to face with the horrors of the Great War, an event that he parallels with Michael Moore's take on the current American war in Iraq. While the history and analysis are compelling, this subplot hangs off the novel's main track at an awkward angle. And when Johnny returns to Austin, apparently interested more in comparing sexual scores with his Texan skate buddies than anything else, the novel winds to a deflating halt. In spite of its flaws, it will find an audience-including worldly boys who aren't accustomed to seeing themselves in young adult novels-that will appreciate not only Johnny's take on life but also de Oliveira's quick-draw characterizations and scene shifts.-Francisca Goldsmith, Berkeley Public Library, CA Copyright 2005 Reed Business Information.
From the Publisher

SLJ 9/1/05
DE OLIVEIRA, Eddie. Johnny Hazzard. 334p. CIP. Scholastic/Push. 2005. Tr $16.95. ISBN 0-439-67361-5. LC 2005000195.
Gr 9 Up–Johnny, 15, is spending his sixth summer with his father in London. This year, he decides, he's not a kid anymore: he flirts with the flight attendant, goes out pubbing with his older sister, finds the skateboard-positive South Bank, and falls head over heels in love with an 18-year-old British girl who is full of her own newfound worldliness. Johnny's summer–and his development as a character who seems realistically torn between emotional complexity and bluster–unfolds along a fairly straightforward schema that includes insightful consideration of parental feelings, protected but explicit sex, and a vague mystery about his sister's own social life. The story takes a rather sudden turn, however, when Johnny's family vacations in Belgium, and he comes face to face with the horrors of the Great War, an event that he parallels with Michael Moore's take on the current American war in Iraq. While the history and analysis are compelling, this subplot hangs off the novel's main track at an awkward angle. And when Johnny returns to Austin, apparently interested more in comparing sexual scores with his Texan skate buddies than anything else, the novel winds to a deflating halt. In spite of its flaws, it will find an audience–including worldly boys who aren't accustomed to seeing themselves in young adult novels–that will appreciate not only Johnny's take on life but also de Oliveira's quick-draw characterizations and scene shifts.–Francisca Goldsmith, Berkeley Public Library, CA

Booklist 9/1/05
de Oliveira, Eddie. Johnny Hazzard. 2005. 333p. Scholastic/Push, $16.95 (0-439-67361-5).
Gr. 10–12. Fifteen-year-old Texan Johnny Hazzard has spent every summer in England since his parents' divorce. He and his older sister, Lydia, usually fly from their everyday life in Austin to vegetate in London's chilly, damp climate. Then comes a summer when Johnny falls in love, and life is very, very different. De Oliveira has painted a lovely portrait of a young man's first love affair (and his first sexual experience) set against a backdrop of skateboarding, London life, and his family's Belgian vacation. But this is more than a love story. As Johnny's social life expands, he copes with Europe's post-9/11 opinion of the U.S., which he feels is justly deserved, and he comes face-to-face with the realities of war–realities he has barely considered. Johnny is a likable, fully conceived character supported by an equally aimable, realistically drawn family. De Oliveira's novel is a rare find–a low-key, intelligent love story directed straight to male adolescent readers. –Frances Bradburn
BCCB 10/1/05
Leaving Mom behind in Texas, Johnny Hazzard travels to London for his annual summer visit with Dad and Dad's new wife. This year, the fifteen-year-old is effortlessly able to attract the attention of an eighteen-year-old girl, who initiates him into the pleasures of sex, cocktails
, and hash-laced chocolate-chip cookies before deciding he's too young for her after all. The low-flying plot takes an unexpected detour into outright propaganda when Johnny accompanies the family to Belgium to visit the World War I battlegrounds of leper (famous during the war as Ypres). There his tour is supplemented by insights garnered from the collected works of his patron saint, filmmaker Michael Moore, as he makes connections between the First World War and the conflict in Iraq. de Oliveira isn't at all successful in tying that thread back into the main plot, making his decision to use a Texan protagonist seem a not-too-subtle ruse that will enable him to inject quite a bit of America-bashing into the coming-of-age narrative; the author clearly wants to slap horny fifteen-year-old A

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780439673624
  • Publisher: Scholastic, Inc.
  • Publication date: 10/9/2006
  • Series: Push Fiction Series
  • Pages: 352
  • Age range: 15 years
  • Product dimensions: 5.00 (w) x 6.90 (h) x 1.10 (d)

Meet the Author


Eddie De Oliveira is the author of Johnny Hazard and Lucky. Lucky explores the plight of a teenage boy, Sam, who is sexually confused and doesn’t know where to fit in since he likes both boys and girls. Eddie insightfully and honestly dissects the sensitive subject of sexual orientation, shedding light on the inner thoughts and insecurities of a boy struggling with his sexual identity.
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Customer Reviews

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Sort by: Showing 1 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted October 11, 2006

    Jumping for Joy for Jonny Hazzard

    This book was a wonderful fiction novel about a tenn's life. Johnny Hazzard discovers who he is and who he wants to become. This was a great coming of age novel and impressively lacked the corniness that these book normally include. The realistic experiences and even racy topics made it a work of art.

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