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Lesley Choyce.
Halifax, NS: Formac Publishing, 1991.
115pp., paper, $8.95.
ISBN 0-88780-098-X. cloth, $16.95. lSBN 0-88780 099-8. CIP.

Subject Headings:
Racially-mixed people-Juvenile fiction.
Blacks-Nova Scotia-Juvenile fiction.
Racism-Juvenile fiction.

Grades 10 and up / Ages 15 and up

Reviewed by Floyd Spracklin.

Volume 20 Number 3
1992 May

It was only a matter of time before someone wrote a book for teens about the racial tensions that have, in recent years, plagued Nova Scotia and the Halifax / Dartmouth area, in particular. And Lesley Choyce is certainly a likely candidate to write about these troubling events and times.

Corey Wheeler, the son of a white father and black mother, finds himself stuck between a "rock and a hard place" and unable to decide who he is. Trouble follows him everywhere he goes, and he always finds himself in the "wrong place at the wrong time."

The rampant racial prejudice at Corey's school and his principal, Heartless Hartman, are major obstacles he must overcome. While trying to "find himself," Corey stumbles upon his past and his ties with Halifax's former Africville. Students will love the touching conclusion to this one!

Choyce uses the customary past tense throughout, but not so in the second chapter. Here he switches to the present tense to draw the reader into the ongoing action and conflict.

This is a story that teens can understand. It's simply but convincingly told by someone who has had direct contact with what he writes about. Choyce creates interesting, vivid and real characters, conflicts and descriptions. Even his chapter titles are anything but dull. What makes these chapters even more appealing to some possibly reluctant readers is their average length of approximately four pages. Wrong Time, Wrong Place can be read in one sithng. The full impact of the inherent prejudices and resultant tensions can thus be felt to the maximum.

An exciting read.

Floyd Spracklin, G.C. Rowe Junior High School, Corner Brook, NF.
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