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B. J. Bond.

Richmond Hill (ON), Scholastic-Tab Publications, c1983.
131pp, paper, $2.25.
ISBN 0-590-71124-5.

Grades 7 and up.
Reviewed by Helen Norrie.

Volume 11 Number 5.
1983 September.

"Falko" Falkenheimer is a bright Vancouver high school student who suffers from dyslexia. Because he has trouble writing and spelling, he feels "stupid" and "different" and compensates for his frustrations by inventing elaborate practical jokes, which he inflicts on teachers or anyone who has humiliated him. When some of his jokes cause real distress, Falko is helped to see the futility of his actions by Cathy, a girl he admires, and by his arch-enemy, Mr. Frost, the school principal, who arranges for him to have a part-time job working with students who have learning difficulties.

Although the moralism is a little heavy-handed in this book, it is saved by the witty dialogue (supposedly written by Falko) and the humorous escapades he invents. Young readers, twelve to fifteen, should identify with Falko's frustrations with some of his teachers and will enjoy his pranks. The ending, where Falko gains self-confidence but realizes his problems are far from over, is realistic and yet hopeful.

This book can definitely be recommended for the upper-elementary to junior high reader and should be popular with boys as well as girls.

Helen Nome, Queemton E.S., Winnipeg, MB.
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