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Thurman, Mark.

Toronto, NC Press, c1987. 124pp, cloth, $9.95. ISBN 0-920053-98-X.CIP

Grades 5-8
Reviewed by Michael Freeman

Volume 15 Number 3
1987 May

Thurman has set down a rather depressing, self-indulgent, slice-of-life memory of his youth spent in a degenerating public housing development in downtown Toronto. His group of five pre-teen semi-delinquents form a gang, the Regent Five Blood Brothers. Their gang is based on democratic principles, democracy meaning that the strongest, most violent member coerces the others into a succession of anti-social, often illegal activities. The most discouraging aspect of the story, for the reader, revolves around the failure of the boys to learn from the consequences of their lying, cheating, stealing, and cruelty to younger children.

Technically, the story proceeds in a rather dull, pedestrian fashion, with dark, sinister illustrations that fail utterly to brighten the text. Recommended, reluctantly, for grades 5-8.

Michael Freeman, Bathurst Heights S.S, North York, Ont.
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