Robert B. Parker was the author of more than fifty books. He died in January 2010.
Gr 6-9-It's 1945, and Bobby and his suburban Boston friends spend their free time traveling to other schools to compete in basketball games. Their junior high does not have a gym or a coach, so when it is announced that independent teams will be included in the state JV tournament, this group of six friends who call themselves the Owls feels a new sense of purpose. Outside circumstances threaten their single-mindedness, however. As Bobby sees a romance blossoming between his childhood friend Joanie and fellow Owl Nick, he is torn between his own feelings for the girl and loyalty to his pal. And when some members of the Owls witness a man threatening their pretty young teacher, they are drawn into a mystery that could endanger all of them. This first young-adult novel from an Edgar Award-winning author brings the same mix of fully developed characters and suspenseful prose that readers have come to expect in his adult works. While Parker's nostalgic references to various radio and movie personalities of the post-World War II era may not be fully appreciated by the target audience, students will identify with the emotional turmoil that characterizes Bobby's adolescence. This thought-provoking mystery will be a solid addition to middle school collections.-Kim Dare, Fairfax County Public Schools, VA Copyright 2007 Reed Business Information.
Parker, the bestselling author of detective novels for adults, brings a healthy dose of noir to his first outing for children, set in the years following the end of WWII. Narrating is Bobby Murphy, an eighth-grader at Center Junior High in a town called Edenville. His school lacks a gymnasium, so Bobby and a few close friends start up an informal rag-tag basketball team, which plays against teams from other local junior high schools. As the Owls-the group's chosen team name-improve their skills in their quest to win a statewide tournament played at Boston Garden, Bobby's relationship with longtime friend Joanie Gibson begins to grow, causing tension with his teammate, Nick, who's interested in her romantically. Additionally, Bobby finds himself wrapped up in a mystery involving his new, young English teacher, Miss Delaney; one day, while staying late, he sees a strange man being rough with her outside the school. He scares the man off, but despite her insistence that he drop the matter, Bobby investigates further with the help of Joanie and his teammates. They unravel the secret that Miss Delaney is hiding, and Bobby discovers a world of suburban white supremacy and neo-Nazism. Though Parker saturates his writing with period slang and details, the book holds a timely resonance as Bobby strives to act in a noble, moral way in a confusing post-war era. Ages 10-up. (Apr.) Copyright 2007 Reed Business Information.
?YAs will thoroughly enjoy this entertaining thriller.? ? "KLIATT"