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Who Cares?

Who Cares?

by Krista Blakeney Bell

Everybody had secrets, but Toby's could really make life difficult for him at school. A novel about keeping secrets, family loyalty and the true meaning of friendship.


Everybody had secrets, but Toby's could really make life difficult for him at school. A novel about keeping secrets, family loyalty and the true meaning of friendship.

Editorial Reviews

VOYA - Jen McIntosh
In this Australian award-winning novel, Toby and Rhys are two teen boys spending a week together at a beach house, even though they barely know each other. Toby's mom is working in Hong Kong for the week and his father is too busy to stay with him so when Rhys's mom offers to take Toby to her beach house, it seems like the perfect solution to everybody—except Toby and Rhys. They each have secrets and tiptoe around each other the first day, but quickly come to depend and rely on each other. Toby's secret is really not that big of a deal, but Rhys is dealing with a horrible situation at home that quickly affects both boys. Who Cares? reads like a bibliotherapy book for teens dealing with alcoholic parents. Although the cover shows two boys sitting on a beach with a surfboard, this book is not a lighthearted beach read. Surfing does play a role in the boys' friendship, but the crux of the story is Rhys's volatile situation with his mom. A very quick read, Who Cares? will be useful for teens who need a push to talk about their own issues with alcoholic parents. Reviewer: Jen McIntosh
Children's Literature - Sue Poduska
Set in Australia, this coming-of-age novel is a serious yet fun look at the secrets people keep and how those secrets affect our lives. Toby and Rhys, who attend the same school but don't really know each other, are thrown together when Toby's mother has an unexpected business trip during the school's summer break. An old friend, Rhys' mother, asks Toby along on the family trip to the beach. Rhys is terrified Toby will learn of his mother's alcoholism. Meanwhile, Toby is trying to hide his not-so-macho skills as a dancer and his fear of the waves that make surfing fun. The boys quickly learn to trust each other and the secrets inevitably come out. Rhys is not bothered by Toby's secrets. In fact, he helps Toby discover he can be a very good surfer and urges him to switch schools to one where he can use his talents better. Toby proves to be a big help in dealing with the alcoholism. The occasional use of Aussie slang and surfing lessons add to the fun. The boys find love interests at the beach, girls they can get to know later. Reviewer: Sue Poduska
School Library Journal
Gr 6�8—When Toby's parents make a last-minute arrangement to have him spend a week in a beach town near their Melbourne home with Rhys Morton, a boy from his class, he reluctantly agrees to go. He knows that his mother has a great business opportunity in Hong Kong and that his dad is extra busy at work, or she wouldn't have sent him to stay with Rhys's mother, someone she'd barely seen since college. Toby is determined to present a normal front, but he doesn't care about surfing and no one at school is aware that his real interest lies in dancing. Rhys isn't any happier about having Toby visit since he spends most of his time taking care of his mother and making sure that the outside world doesn't know that she is an alcoholic. Both boys are determined to maintain their carefully preserved facades, but their time together results in the first real friendship either of them has ever had and allows them make strides toward a positive future. The author handles the situations well, from Mrs. Morton's illness and Rhys's reluctance to get help for her and Toby's initial disinclination to have his dancing made public, to the logical step of his attending a fine-arts school.—Betsy Fraser, Calgary Public Library, Alberta, Canada

Product Details

Kane/Miller Book Publishers
Publication date:
Fiction Series
Product dimensions:
5.00(w) x 7.70(h) x 0.50(d)
870L (what's this?)
Age Range:
10 - 14 Years

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