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Lesley Choyce.
Halifax, NS: Formac Publishing, 1989.
98pp., paper, $8.95.
ISBN 0-88780-073-4. Distributed by Formac Publishing Co. Ltd. CIP.

Grades 6-10 / Ages 11-15

Reviewed by Patricia Fry.

Volume 18 Number 3
1990 May

Buy more than one copy of this novel if your budget allows, because this title won't sit on the shelves. Its fast-paced action and concern for issues - centred on corrupt local politics - are sure to strike a response in teenage readers.

The action begins on the first page when the reader meets skateboard enthusiast Gary Sutherland as he attempts his favourite challenge - skate boarding down and around the sides of an abandoned pool the local teenagers have nicknamed "the grave." It's a popular but dangerous location for the sport, which is also enjoyed by Gary's girlfriend Sheila. She's a feisty girl who stands up for her beliefs and isn't easily intimidated.

The two fifteen-year-olds want to know why the community pool is being sold to developers instead of being put to public use. After they visit the mayor and call the media, they find that they're in over their heads and plunging into trouble. That's when "parent power" backing the "kid initiative" exposes the corrupt local politics. Teenage readers - those lovers of moral dilemmas and justice prevailing - will cheer!

This book is billed by the publisher as "Canada's first skateboard novel." Intrigued by this claim, I searched in several school libraries as well as public libraries for another novel on the topic, but I came up empty-handed. In fact, there was very little non-fiction on the subject either. This is surprising when one considers the popularity of the sport among pre-teens and teens.

Highly recommended.

Patricia Fry, Port Credit, ON.
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