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Dale, Mitzi
Toronto, Groundwood/Douglas & Mclntyre, 1992. 158pp, paper, $7.95, ISBN 0-88899-145-2. (Groundwood Young Adult). CIP

Grades 7 to 9/Ages 12 to 14

Reviewed by Anne Louise Mahoney

Volume 20 Number 4
1992 September

Kim Taylor, stand-up comic and heroine of Mitzi Dale's Sky's the Limit,'' is back. In On My Own, Kim's parents give her $1,000 and a year to try her luck as a comic. She leaves Hamilton for Toronto, gets a job at the Spaghetti Factory, and tries to hit the big time in comedy. Success as a street comic prompts her to perform at an amateur comedy night in Buffalo, where she is spotted by an agent. There is no fairy-tale ending to this story, however. Kim's agent pushes her farther than she has ever pushed herself, and Kim has some tough moments on stage. But despite the hecklers and the set-backs, the dives and the disasters, Kim knows it's all worth it.

On My Own is a worthy sequel to The Sky's the Limit. While the latter looks at the more serious theme of Kim's relationship with the beautiful and troubled Skye Manning, On My Own focuses on Kim. This refreshing, likeable character knows what she wants and goes out and gets it. At seventeen she makes a life for herself and avoids the many pitfalls that await teens who are away from home for the first time.

This novel is well written and often hilarious. Mitzi Dale has a talent for writing convincingly about teenage girls and for creating appealing stories that move at a good pace. Readers looking for a good story, a lot of laughs and a look at life away from home will enjoy Kim's adventures in On My Own.

Anne Louise Mahoney is a freelance editor in Ottawa, Ontario.

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