Lockie Leonard, Human Torpedo

Overview

Thirteen-year-old Lockie Leonard is new in town and has nothing going for him except for the fact that he's a hot-shot surfer. He falls in love with the beautiful Vicki and, amazingly, she likes him too. Suddenly Lockie is famous and popular, but he still has a lot to learn about love.

Thirteen-year-old Lockie, an Australian surfer, is happier riding the waves than he is trying to cope with being popular and in love.

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Overview

Thirteen-year-old Lockie Leonard is new in town and has nothing going for him except for the fact that he's a hot-shot surfer. He falls in love with the beautiful Vicki and, amazingly, she likes him too. Suddenly Lockie is famous and popular, but he still has a lot to learn about love.

Thirteen-year-old Lockie, an Australian surfer, is happier riding the waves than he is trying to cope with being popular and in love.

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
Moving to Australia's East Coast from Perth makes 14-year-old Lockie an outsider and a city boy--an identity worsened by the fact that his father is a cop and the family lives on the wrong side of the tracks. Still, between smart-mouthing in school, thrashing the waves on his surfboard and having the popular Vicki Streeton as a girlfriend, Lockie soon establishes his place in town. It's a difficult time: sexual stirrings begin perplexing Lockie, and Vicki seems to be confusing love with precocious sex. The boy is also faced with other, more universal concerns, such as the depletion of the ozone, nuclear weapons and world peace. While trendy brand names, pop artists and television programs will date this first novel, Lockie's successes with the business of life have the solid ring of truth. Winton's dry, typically Down Under wit and his use of alien, sometimes challenging Australian slang should charm young readers on this side of the equator. Ages 10-up. (Jan.)
School Library Journal
Gr 6-9-- Shortly before he enters high school, Lockie Leonard and his family move from Perth to a small town along the Australian coast. His first weeks in his new school are disastrous, and he tries to keep a low profile. On his 14th birthday, he meets Vicki Streeton and falls in love. From then on they are constantly together, and Vicki's popularity rubs off on him. Lockie's love life deteriorates, however, when Vicki drops him for a couple of punks with a van. In a confrontation with them, Lockie gets beaten up when he refuses to fight. Although most of the characters are not fleshed out well (the hero's parents are disgustingly understanding at all times), the main problem with this novel is its excessive use of Australian slang. An early incident is largely incomprehensible because of the language, and Lockie's woodworking teacher literally throws him out for making a seemingly innocent remark with an apparent double meaning. In light of the boy's later popularity, the whole scene seems unnecessary. Better Australian novels dealing with YA problems, such as The Heroic Life of Al Capsella (Holt, 1990), are available. --Jo-Anne Weinberg, Greenburgh Public Library, NY
School Library Journal
Gr 6-9-Tim Winton's coming-of-age novel (Little, Brown, 1991) is relevant, funny, and touching. Lockie Leonard's family has moved from Perth to the East Coast of Australia. He has just turned 13 and must start a new school. Although he's a good surfer, he doesn't think he has much else going for him. His father is a pacifist cop, his brother wets the bed, and he lives in a less desirable section of town. Lockie hits the jackpot when cute, smart, popular, and well-off Vicki takes a liking to him. They quickly become an item, and Lockie is suddenly popular. When things start moving too fast, Lockie's need to slow it down causes Vicki to become bored with the relationship. With the help of time and his empathetic parents, he comes to terms with loosing both Vicki and his popularity. Winton has tapped into the angst of young teen boys, and listeners will identify with Lockie. Librarians should be aware that use of the Australian vernacular is pervasive, and there is sexual content (make-out sessions and wet dreams). Stig Wemyss, an actor in both Australia and the U. S., narrates with great energy and enthusiasm, capturing the voices of all of the characters. Catchy musical interludes between chapters add a nice touch. Those who enjoy surfing and coming-of-ages stories or are Tim Winton fans might enjoy this audiobook.-Jo-Ann Carhart, East Islip Public Library, NY Copyright 2004 Reed Business Information.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780316947534
  • Publisher: Little, Brown and Company
  • Publication date: 12/17/1991
  • Edition description: 1st U.S. ed
  • Pages: 148
  • Age range: 10 years

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