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Dennis McCloskey.
Toronto, ON: Three Trees Press, 1984.
111pp., paper, $5.95.
ISBN 0-88823-076-1. cloth, $12.95. ISBN 0-88823-078-8. CIP.

Grades 7-8 / Ages 12-13

Reviewed by Nancy Black.

Volume 13 Number 2
1985 March

When up and coming tennis star Scott McIntyre loses the use of his right arm, in an accident at his grandfather's farm, he believes his career as a tennis pro is over. However, with the support of his family, girlfriend and coach, plus his own determination, Scott trains himself to play tennis with his left arm. In the end, in a difficult championship match, Scott does not win, but is a very close second.

There is a story here; of courage and determination to overcome an obstacle and succeed at something important to an individual. Unfortunately, this story is buried under stilted writing and contrived events. Background information is not given with the natural unfolding of the story, but is outlined for the reader in a dry, overbearing manner:

Dave Berg was a physical-education student at York University, who supplemented his student-loan income by giving tennis lessons at the exclusive Rock Gardens Tennis Club in north Toronto. He was considered one of the best instructors in the city and was highly respected by his pupils.

Scott knew he was lucky to have Dave for a coach. The small but successful architectural business owned by his parents, Harold and Helen McIntyre, produced a comfortable income so that the Mclntyres could afford a family membership at Rock Gardens as well as Scott's tennis lessons.(p.10).

This style does not bring the reader closer to the characters, providing an opportunity to better understand and sympathize with the personalities. In another example, a trip through Nova Scotia becomes a dull lesson, when places and historic events are listed for the reader without enough description or imagery. Because the reader is not seeing the beautiful Annapolis Valley through the eyes of the characters, the reader does not truly appreciate the information about this fascinating province.

Throughout the story, the author consistently allows secondary events to take over and interfere with Scott's story. As a result, Scott's rehabilitation seems remarkably easy, failing to elicit total admiration and respect from the reader. With better editing, the potential of this story would have been realized. Not recommended.

Nancy E. Black, Saskatoon P.l., Saskatoon, SK./
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