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Kropp, Paul.

Don Mills (Ont.), Collier Macmillan, 1987. 89pp, paper, $4.95, ISBN 02-947440-X. (Series Canada). CIP


Bell, William

Don Mills (Ont.), Collier Macmillan, 1987. 89pp, paper, $4.95, ISBN 02-947430-2. (Series Canada). CIP

Grades 4 to 7
Reviewed by Jo Anna Burns Patton

Volume 16 Number 1
1988 January

Paul Kropp and William Bell have provided two interesting additions to Series Canada for reluctant readers.

In Get Lost, young Sherri, anxious to know Todd better, gets an opportunity when she volunteers to baby-sit his brother Jamie. Unfortunately, Sherri does not take her job seriously enough and five-year-old Jamie disappears. The only remnant of his wanderings is his broken water pistol on the side of the highway beside the marsh. This ominous clue raises several questions: was Jamie kidnapped by some passing motorist, or did he wander into the marsh? Several lessons are learned both by Sherri about responsibilities and by Sheri's father about unfounded prejudices.

In the second story we get a fresh look at an old problem—the conflict between two different social groups in high school. Although the conflict revolves around musical tastes-metal heads preferring hard rock to the preppy's choice of music—the usual fights and "get-even" plans abound. Donnie is a metal head who finds himself caught up in the conflict when he is required to work with the high school cross-country team as penance for a past deed. It is not until he begins to accept himself as a person rather than as a member of a group that he is able to see things straight.

Both stories are easy to read, well illustrated (Heather Collins illustrates Get Lost and Leonard Arguanno illustrates Metal Head) and fast paced. The vocabulary is simple but not childish and the lines and chapters are designed to not look overwhelming. The subject matter is timely; however, the adults, especially the ones in authority, are not very positive images. (In Get Lost the police officer was more interested in interviewing the adults than the teenagers involved with the lost child. In Metal Head the principal is more interested in suspending young Donnie than offering a more constructive punishment.)

These are both recommended reads for a collection for reluctant readers. The reading level will be appealing and the subject matter will maintain the students' interest. Paul Kropp has written over fifteen titles in Series Canada and William Bell, a high school English teacher, also wrote Crabbe*

Jo Anna Burns Patton, K.C.S. School for Girls, Inc., Montreal, Que.
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