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Kevin Major

Toronto, Doubleday Canada, 1991. 136pp, paper, $13.50
ISBN 0-385-25293-5. CIP

Grades 7 and up/ Ages 12 and up
Reviewed by Margaret Mackey

Volume 20 Number 1
1992 January

Jackson lives in the world of the teenage problem novel and makes occasional escapes into other books to find solutions to his own problems. His parents don't communicate with each other and his mother is threatening to leave. Meanwhile, Jackson is suffering from unrequited love for the beautiful Sara and slowly submerging beneath his undone homework.

Solutions for these problems appear when Jackson wins a mysterious gold medal at the new pizza parlour. The medal, when rubbed against another piece of gold, transfers Jackson into the world of a book.

Jackson makes three such forays, sampling life as lived by Odysseus' soldiers, by Huckleberry Finn's com­rade, Jim, and by Romeo. Sara joins him as Juliet on this last trip and falls in love with him at once. His fourth outing takes his mother and father back into the family album, to the day when their only son was born. They decide to renew their love for each other, too, so all ends happily.

This parody of a popular genre is slickly put together but not altogether satisfying. Too often we are told, not shown. Jackson never really engages the reader and the solutions are too pat. The book relies on its humour, and other readers may find it funnier than I did.

Margaret Mackey, University of Alberta, Edmonton, Alta.
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