A sparkling coming-of-age novel that has sold over 300,000 copies in Holland, in which the inhabitants of a sleepy rural town are awakened by the arrival of a kinetic young visionary, Joe Speedboat.
After a farming accident plunges him into a coma for six months, Frankie Hermans wakes up to discover that he’s paralyzed and mute. Bound to a wheelchair, Frankie struggles to adjust to a life where he must rely on others to complete even the simplest tasks. The only body part he can control is his right arm, which he uses obsessively to record the details of daily life in his town.
But when he meets Joea boy who blazed into town like a meteor while Frankie slepteverything changes. Joe is a centrifugal force, both magician and daredevil, and he alone sees potential strength in Frankie’s handicaps. With Joe’s help, Frankie’s arm will be used for more that just writing: as a champion arm-wrestler, Frankie will be powerful enough to win back his friends, and maybe even woo P. J., the girl who has them all in a tailspin.
Alive with the profundities of adolescence, Joe Speedboat is the supersonic story of an unlikely alliance and a lightning-quick dash to
|Product dimensions:||5.40(w) x 8.20(h) x 1.10(d)|
|Age Range:||13 Years|
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
After reading the first few pages of Joe Speedboat, I began over so I could read it out loud to my nine year-old son. In the first few chapters, the narrator takes on a Tom Sawyer quality trapped inside a disabled body, while Joe personifies a Dutch Huckleberry Finn. As the two boys grow older, however, the narrative turns dark, foreboding, and sleazy. I quickly abandoned reading it to a nine year-old. As the characters continue, brothers and parents and classmates are all complex, but dysfunctional figures, doing the best they can to love each other in a not-so-idyllic world. Only Joe provides light and hope. Eventually, even his light dims--until the last few pages, which all too quickly, tie up the novel with a last, crazy, dysfunctional but hopeful ending. Wieringa's writing and Garrett's translation is lyrical and poetic, and that is what makes this novel a deserving, but disquieting read.