Lizard

Overview

With sea-green eyes more on the side of his head than most people's and a nose that lies on its side, Lucius Sims resembles a reptile. That's why he was sent to the Leesville Louisiana State School for Retarded Boys even though no one ever proved he was mentally handicapped. but the state school is no place for a wide-eyed thirteen-year-old boy who wants to see the world. So when a shoe salesman from up north arrives claiming to be his father, Lizard takes a chance. Lizard knows his real father is dead, but he ...
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Overview

With sea-green eyes more on the side of his head than most people's and a nose that lies on its side, Lucius Sims resembles a reptile. That's why he was sent to the Leesville Louisiana State School for Retarded Boys even though no one ever proved he was mentally handicapped. but the state school is no place for a wide-eyed thirteen-year-old boy who wants to see the world. So when a shoe salesman from up north arrives claiming to be his father, Lizard takes a chance. Lizard knows his real father is dead, but he also knows that this impostor could be his only ticket to freedom.

Sent by his guardian to live at a Louisiana school for retarded boys, Lizard, a bright, deformed youngster, escapes with the help of a visiting actor who gives him a role in his repertory company's production of "The Tempest."

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
A 13-year-old seizes a unique opportunity to break free of his unjust confinement in a retarded boys' school. PW praised the ``bold originality'' of this ``finely crafted first novel, . . . an intriguing cross between Candide and Huck le berry Finn .'' Ages 12-up. (Apr.)
School Library Journal
Gr 8 Up-- A thought-provoking novel for mature readers, Lizard is the story of a teenager given this nickname because of his appearance and solitary nature. When Miss Cooley, the only adult in his life, leaves to get married, she ships Lizard to a state school for the retarded. Rather than confining him, as might be expected, this move is only the first step for Lizard into a wider world. Besides the handicapped boys and adult workers he meets there, he encounters a traveling salesman who pretends to be his father, a down-and-out troupe of actors who spirit him out of the school, an orphaned brother and sister living in a swamp, a museum curator, a black artist, and ultimately, Miss Cooley again. None of these people are whom they seem, any more than Lizard is. In a familiar conceit, Lizard only begins to find his real self by playing the role of someone else; he takes the role of Caliban in a small-town production of Shakespeare's The Tempest . The characters in the novel are equally dramatic, the text is loose and slangy, the plot twists and turns without a creak or a groan, with the whole not only deserving but requiring a second reading. There is some rough language that seems not to add anything to the already stark realism. This will be of greatest interest to readers familiar with the play. Booktalking will help to broaden its audience, deservedly so. --Barbara Hutcheson, Greater Victoria Public Library, B.C., Canada
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780440214908
  • Publisher: Random House Children's Books
  • Publication date: 3/1/1993
  • Series: Laurel-Leaf Bks.
  • Format: Mass Market Paperback
  • Pages: 198
  • Age range: 13 - 17 Years
  • Lexile: 770L (what's this?)
  • Product dimensions: 4.16 (w) x 6.78 (h) x 0.58 (d)

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