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Gr 9 Up
This sequel to Boy O'Bo y (Groundwood, 2004) is set in Canada during the Korean War. Martin O'Boy is now 15 and living with Grampa Rip, a friend's elderly grandfather, so he can care for him when "his brain goes away." Martin lies about his age in order to get a delivery job with the Pure Spring soft drink company. He is paired with mentally disturbed Randy, who steals from customers and subjects Martin to anti-Semitic rants and dirty stories. Randy discovers that Martin has lied about his age and blackmails him into silence about the thefts. When Martin falls in love with Gerty McDowell, the granddaughter of one of Randy's victims, he realizes he has to take action to make things right and to save his relationship with her. The narrative alternates between this story and flashbacks, showing what has happened to Martin's parents and his mentally ill twin brother. Although this book deals with some very serious themes of mental illness, alcoholism, and sexual misconduct, there are many humorous moments, and the book's message is ultimately one of redemption. Tough, smart Grampa Rip is a caring parental figure who guides and teaches Martin in a way his own father could not, and Gerty is a strong, clever young woman who inspires him to do what he knows is right. Not quite as bleak as its predecessor, this is a moving and often beautiful novel.
—Kathleen E. GruverCopyright 2006 Reed Business Information.
Posted April 3, 2010
Martin goes to "Grandpa" Rip, who is not his grandpa but his best friend's. Martin is fifteen and looking for a job in Ottawa durring the second world war. He tries a soda company and lies about his age saying he's sixteen to get the job as a soda delivery person. His favorite flavor is Honee Orange and his delivery partner, a mentaly disturbed nephue of Mr. Mirsky (the owner of Pure Spring), is Randy. Randy has a system he uses to steal from his clients. Randy makes Martin do the dirty work and in turn randy doesn't tell Mr. Mirsky how old Martin really is. Martin meets Gerty McDowell at their first victim's place of buissness. Gerty and Martin fall in love but all is not well as Igor, a Russain spy needs some documents that are in the hands of Randy. Martin escapes Randy's place with the papers and Gerty and when confessing to Mr. Mirsky he is promised a job at Pure Spring as soon as he is sixteen.
The message of this bood is to tell the truth. I like how the story makes sense even though it is far fetched. i did not like how "What Happened" did not resolve in Martin's brother being introduced in a present tense. sombody should read this book if they are looking for a novel that is creative with some action and some romance with a great story line. the only reason that one would not read this is if they do not like realistic fiction. Enjoy the book!