CM Archive
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Paul Kropp.
Toronto, ON: Stoddart, 1989.
160pp., cloth, $19.95.
ISBN 0-7737-2366-8. CIP.

Grades 7 and up / Ages 12 and up

Reviewed by Constance Hall.

Volume 18 Number 3
1990 May

The Rock is a longer novel in which the "Beak," Brian Robinson, tells the "history" of four friends as they grew up in southern Ontario. Brian, the "brained from an upwardly mobile family, contrasts sharply in character with his friend "the Rock," Anthony LaRoche, the natural athlete and leader whose father is struggling financially with a car wash business. The other friends include Simon Van Geet, Nikki (Rock's younger sister), and Vicious, their three-way-owned dog.

In his history, Beak recalls episodes in their friendship when Rock proved to be a hero to his friend again and again. For example, Rock rescued his "minor niner" friends from the harassment of older students in high school, and he stopped Mr. Van Geet from beating Simon after the friends damaged an old car. Problems arose when Rock did poorly in high school and began to use drugs and to associate with members of the car wash gang. Although the three friends tried, they seemed powerless to help or change Rock's downward slide.

After a confrontation between Beak and a high-on-drugs Rock at McDonald's, the feeling of impending doom spreads. With each page, the suspense builds toward a climax that changes the lives of each of the friends forever. In the prologue Brian says, "we are history, but we are a history worth telling." He is right.

Constance Hall, Hamilton, ON.
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