The Real Plato Jones

Overview

While visiting Greece, thirteen-year-old Plato Jones tries to come to terms with his mixed heritage as he finds out more about his two grandfathers, the Welsh one, a World War II hero, and the Greek one, a supposed traitor.

While visiting Greece, thirteen-year-old Plato Jones tries to come to terms with his mixed heritage as he finds out more about his two grandfathers, the Welsh one, a World War II hero, and the Greek one, a ...

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Overview

While visiting Greece, thirteen-year-old Plato Jones tries to come to terms with his mixed heritage as he finds out more about his two grandfathers, the Welsh one, a World War II hero, and the Greek one, a supposed traitor.

While visiting Greece, thirteen-year-old Plato Jones tries to come to terms with his mixed heritage as he finds out more about his two grandfathers, the Welsh one, a World War II hero, and the Greek one, a supposed traitor.

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
At his grandfather's funeral in a Greek village, half-Greek and half-Welsh London-bred teenager Plato Jones becomes aware of the WW II-era conflict that soured the relations between his two sets of grandparents. As the story progresses, Plato pieces together the mystery surrounding his ``traitor'' grandfather, and comes to a new, more sophisticated understanding of what it means to be a hero. When a fire sweeps through the tiny mountain village, Plato and his mother pitch in to help, thus healing old wounds and creating a new sense of belonging. Bawden's trademark thoughtfulness takes on a suspenseful edge, thanks to the novel's intelligent plot, crisp pacing and precise dialogue. Set against a rich cultural and historical background, Plato's discovery of his unique identity is brought skillfully to life by Bawden's splendid storytelling. Ages 9-12. (Oct.)
School Library Journal
Gr 6-9-Thirteen-year-old Plato Constantine Jones lives with his Greek mother in a suburb of London. He is struggling through puberty and trying to figure out his place in the world. Is he more like his Welsh grandfather, a World War II hero, or his Greek grandfather, a World War II traitor? And how can he reconcile these two aspects of his heritage? In the meantime, will he grow physically or remain a runt forever? Will his divorced mother marry the wealthy Tasso, and, in the climactic last section of the book, will fire destroy his Greek grandfather's village? Bawden writes fluently of Plato's journey toward self-acceptance. His first-person narrative is interesting and insightful, leavened with enough humor to avoid the ``poor me'' trap adolescent novels so often fall into. The characters are intriguing, as are their foreign adventures, and the author skillfully brings the different settings and subplots vibrantly to life. A rewarding, well-realized coming-of-age novel.-Ann W. Moore, Schenectady County Public Library, NY
School Library Journal
Gr 6-9-Plato unravels the mystery that connects his Welsh grandfather, a famous World War II spy, to his Greek grandfather, a traitor. Introspective, but buoyed by the boy's deadpan sense of humor, his wildly diverse relatives, and their deep ties to the past. (Nov., 1993)
From the Publisher
"A rewarding, well-realized coming-of-age story." School Library Journal, Starred
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780140379471
  • Publisher: Penguin Group (USA) Incorporated
  • Publication date: 10/7/1996
  • Edition description: REPRINT
  • Pages: 176
  • Age range: 10 - 14 Years
  • Product dimensions: 5.03 (w) x 7.70 (h) x 0.70 (d)

Meet the Author

Nina Bawden is foremost among twentieth-century writers of fiction for children. A reviewer in Publishers Weekly wrote: "I'll come right out and say it. For my money, Miss Bawden can so no wrong. Her stories area a perfect blend of humor and suspense, and that's a blend difficult to achieve." Ms. Bawden was born in London, England, and lived there until she was evacuated with her school during the Blitz in World War II. She later attended Somerville College, Oxford. She and her husband, Austin Kark, live in London, except in the spring and summer, when they go to their home in Nauplion, Greece.

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