Night Kites

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Overview

What do you do when your best friend's girlfriend makes a pass at you?

Erick Rudd isn't sure how it happened –– he did nothing but look. It was Nicki who made the first move. And if that doesn't complicate things enough, Erick is about to get some news that will blow his safe world apart: Pete, his older brother and idol, has fullblown AIDS. I'm a night kite, Pete once told Erick. I go up in the dark, alone, on my own, and I'm not afraid to be different. Nicki is a night kite, ...

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1987 Paperback Very good Nice clean copy. Family owned since 1989. Selling online since 1995. Exceptional shopping experience, 100% Satisfaction Guaranteed!

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HarperTeen, 09/25/1987, Paperback, Very Good condition.

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Paperback GOOD Paperback-9780064470353 [KERR, M. E. ] NIGHT KITES.

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Night Kites

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Overview

What do you do when your best friend's girlfriend makes a pass at you?

Erick Rudd isn't sure how it happened –– he did nothing but look. It was Nicki who made the first move. And if that doesn't complicate things enough, Erick is about to get some news that will blow his safe world apart: Pete, his older brother and idol, has fullblown AIDS. I'm a night kite, Pete once told Erick. I go up in the dark, alone, on my own, and I'm not afraid to be different. Nicki is a night kite, too. Together, she and Pete will teach Erick that sometimes it's best to keep your feet on the ground.

Seventeen-year-old Erick's comfortable and well-ordered life begins to fall apart when he is forced to keep two secrets: the identity of his new girlfriend and the nature of his brother's debilitating disease.

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Editorial Reviews

Los Angeles Times
M. E. Kerr has a genius for striding up on her readers' blind sides and delivering the unexpected. She's done it again in Night Kites, her most important book. This story stands beside Judith Guest's Ordinary People.
Los Angeles Times
M. E. Kerr has a genius for striding up on her readers' blind sides and delivering the unexpected. She's done it again in Night Kites, her most important book. This story stands beside Judith Guest's Ordinary People.
Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
Erick's older brother Pete reveals to the family that he has AIDS, in this story filled with sweeping emotional detail and nuance. Ages 12-up (September)
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780064470353
  • Publisher: HarperCollins Publishers
  • Publication date: 9/28/1987
  • Series: Trophy Keypoint Book Series
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 256
  • Age range: 12 years
  • Lexile: 760L (what's this?)
  • Product dimensions: 4.18 (w) x 6.98 (h) x 0.52 (d)

Meet the Author

M. E. Kerr is a winner of the American Library Association's Margaret A. Edwards Award for Lifetime Achievement and the ALAN award from the National Council of Teachers of English. Ms. Kerr lives in East Hampton on New York's Long Island.

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Read an Excerpt

"I really care about Nicki," Jack said. He paused to see if I was going to say anything. I wasn't.

He said, "She says I look like Sting."

"Well, you could be his son."

I never think of rock stars having sons my age. They all seem about nineteen."

Jack was my age, seventeen. He was blond like Sting and green eyed like him, but he had a big nose Sting didn't have, He was self-conscious about it, so I liked" Nicki for telling him that.

Nicki was blond and green eyed, too, and our age.

But Nicki was seventeen going on twenty-five.

The only really young thing about Nicki was her crushes on Sting and the other rock stars. Through most of high school her boyfriend had been Walter Ruski, known locally as Ski. He wasn't in school. He was older. He was the closest thing to a Hell's Angel we had around Seaville, New York. He was a scuzzy character but good-looking. Very. He was the type who wore punk bondage stuff and got around on a Kawasaki. He wore a lot of crosses around his neck, a Reaper of Death ring, and black hair, and was always in black, with black motorcycle boots and anklets with spike clips.... I could see a girl falling for Ski. He was a dark hero. You see them all over rock videos.

Jack and I were having this conversation on a day in early September, out in the bleachers of the Seaville High stadium.

Down on the field they were trying out new pompom girls. My girl, Dill, was one from last year, but Nicki was a hopeful.

I didn't think Nicki'd make it. It wasn't Ieven her idea to try out--it was Jack's. If I'd been Jack, I wouldn't have talked her into it. Not that Nicki couldn't jump as high as the other girls, or shoutas loud, and she had the looks, too. She really had the looks. . . . But I knew how the other girls felt about Nicki Marr. There was no way, I didn't think, they were going to let her be one of them.

"Do you like her, Erick?" Jack finally asked me. "She thinks you don't like her."

"Tell her I like her fine."

"I hope you mean it."

"I do," I told him. What could I say? It was already too late.

"She hasn't had it easy," Jack said.

I didn't know her whole story. I knew her mother'd died a few years ago. Her mother'd run a small women's clothing shop called Annabel's Resale, which was attached to Kingdom By The Sea on the dunes outside of Seaville. At one time Kingdom By The Sea had been a big summer tourist attraction. It was a motel that looked like a castle, with towers, domed roofs, even a drawbridge. Her dad owned it; everyone called him Captain, because there was sort of a nautical air to the place. But in recent years it was judged to be an eye sore. The more money that poured into Seaville, the more people didn't want that kind of circus sitting right on the outskirts of the village. So there were all sorts of petitions circulating against it, business was failing off, the paint was starting to peel: It looked like an old, run-down amusement park. . . . Nicki lived out in that place.

Jack was my best friend all through grade school, middle school, and high school. We lived on the same street. We liked the same things. We wore the same clothes, both of us sitting there that afternoon in our 501 jeans, our muscle shirts, our Nikes. We were from the same mold, it looked like.

There were plenty of differences, physical and family. I was redheaded like all Rudd males. (I looked enough like my older, brother, Pete, to be his twin, even though there was a ten-year age difference.) I was never the star athlete Jack was. I wasn't heavy enough for football, like Jack, or tall enough like Jack for basketball. Tennis was my game, golf, sailing. Jack could do all those things well too, though the Case family wasn't in The Hadefield Club and Jack didn't own a boat. (He didn't need one as long as I owned one; anything of mine was his.)

Jack's dad lived and worked in Seaview as an electrician. Mine was a corporate Wall Street man, with an apartment in New York City. Mine came out to our house only on weekends, usually.

But until Nicki came into Jack's life, any differences between us didn't make any difference: We were two peas in a pod. Even though Jack never had a steady girl and I dated only Dill, our double dates were easy. We never had to think about how the girls would get along together. They just did.

I'd spent most of the past summer in New York City, working as a runner for Rudd & Lundgren, my father's investment firm. When I came back to Seaville to start senior year, Dill told me that Jack was seeing Nicki. It was big news to Dill, too. She'd been working in the Catskills as a waitress, to earn money for college.

I said, "Nicki will mop up the floor with poor Jack."

"We both know why he's dating her, right?" Dill said.

After Ski, there'd been Bucky Moon, then T. X. Hoyle, both pretty smarmy characters, sort of charming smarmy, the kind with a little flair, but the kind who ran on the fast track, and you gave a lot of room to on the sidewalks.

One night right after Labor Day Jack asked us to join Nicki and him. They were going to see a Stephen King movie; they were going out to Dunn's Drive-In after.

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Customer Reviews

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Sort by: Showing all of 4 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted August 22, 2014

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  • Anonymous

    Posted August 22, 2014

    Asuna

    I just cu.mmed! Ok bye........

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 18, 2003

    Kerr's Nightkites

    I read this book for a class called Reading Interests of the Adolescent for my Contemporary Issues project, which was homosexuality. This was the first YA book published that deals with AIDS. I feel that Kerr has accurately captured the denial and eventual acceptance that a family experiences when tragedies such as this happen. I enjoyed the book, but I found Nikki to be an overpowering and at times unrealistic character.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted September 22, 2001

    AMAZING!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    Night Kites was an amazing and intruguing book about a young man and his dealings in living with Anti Immune Deficiency Syndrome. This is a perfect telling of what such a horrible experience. With suspense and a cunning edge, Kerr has done it again! Night Kites must be one of the best books ever written. I highly recomend it!

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