The Squeaky Wheel

The Squeaky Wheel

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by Robert Kimmel Smith
     
 

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When a new friend tells him that "the squeaky wheel gets the grease," Mark Baker realizes that unless he finds the courage to confront his life, things will probably get worse.

Mark's world has been tumed upside down by the split between his parents. He' s been forced to leave his old neighborhood and his old friends. Now he's living with his mother in a new

Overview

When a new friend tells him that "the squeaky wheel gets the grease," Mark Baker realizes that unless he finds the courage to confront his life, things will probably get worse.

Mark's world has been tumed upside down by the split between his parents. He' s been forced to leave his old neighborhood and his old friends. Now he's living with his mother in a new apartment in a new town. Mark still longs to be back in his old school, once again to ride his bike, to go on living in the house where he grew up.

But it's the loss of his father that worries Mark most of all. The man he depended on seeing every day is disappearing from his life.

Does Mark have any rights at all? And how can he find a road past feuding parents so he can get on with his life?

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
A child of divorced parents draws upon the familiar proverb as he struggles to get on with his life in this outspoken, thought-provoking novel. Ages 8-12. (June)
School Library Journal
Smith hits upon a lot of truths in this novel of a boy's slow and painful adjustment to his parents' separation and impending divorce. Mark is not happy with the dramatic changes in his life, and his parents often can't give him the attention he deserves because of their preoccupations with their own problems. Subplots involve Mark's confrontation with the school psychopath and his efforts to coax a super-serious Chinese student to enjoy himself more. Some characters from Smith's earlier books move around the novel's periphery, although the tone of this book is more serious than in those works. Mark's anxiety about the divorce is accurately depicted. He often worries about little things: the loss of his bicycle, the adjustment of the move from a house to an apartment, the fact that his new school building is old and a little run-down. These are part of greater anxieties, however, that are expressed in a readable manner and with a good ear for the sentence patterns and colloquialisms of young people. By the novel's end, Mark has started to make an adjustment by relying on his own inner resources. He has grown more independent and has taken steps toward becoming an adult. Readers, meanwhile, have met an engaging character. --Todd Morning, Schaumburg Township Public Library, IL

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780385301558
Publisher:
Random House Children's Books
Publication date:
09/01/1990
Pages:
192
Age Range:
8 - 12 Years

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The Squeaky Wheel 5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 1 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Divorce can turn children's lives upside-down. Moving, losing friends and familiar surroundings, and not knowing when they'll see the parent they don't live with can be traumatic for kids. In The Squeaky Wheel, Mark Baker is in sixth grade and his parents are getting a divorce. He's angry, scared, and feels like his world has completely fallen apart. But although he just wants things to go back to the way they were, he has to learn, bit by bit, to pick up the pieces and rebuild his new life. From making new friends to dealing with a bully, and even how he feels about girls, this story covers the whole gamut of emotions. Mark finally realizes he has to accept the fact his world will never go back to what it once was, but he still can make his life a good one. The Squeaky Wheel was originally published in 1990 by Delacorte-Dell, and has recently been brought back into print because of its timeless message of hope for children of divorce. This sensitive portrayal of how Mark deals with this difficult situation is masterfully handled. I highly recommend this wonderful and well-written book. Reviewer: Alice Berger, Bergers Book Reviews