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Bryant, Teddie
Winnipeg, Windflower Communications, 1992. 119pp, paper, $6.95, ISBN 1-895308-08-9. CIP.

Grades 3 to 6/Ages 8 to 11

Reviewed by Caroline Thomson

Volume 20 Number 5
1992 October

Randy and Prince is Teddie Bryant's adventure story about an eleven-year-old boy coming to grips with the death of his father while staying on his grandfather's Colorado ranch. Randy is happy about being near horses, but is not so sure about staying the summer with his grandfather, whom he had only met for the first time at his father's funeral. Life on the ranch proves to be exciting and rewarding, and, with the help of Prince (a black stallion) and some other friends. Randy is able to resolve his struggle over the loss of his father.

Bryant's story does have potential. The story does hold the reader's interest. However, given the title, one would expect more of the story to revolve around Randy and the stallion Prince. Instead, this is a story about a boy accepting Jesus back into his life. After his father's death. Randy turned his back on religion, since he could not understand why his father should have to die. Bryant imposes her own views on the reader through her characters, through both their portrayal and their speech. Any character who is not "Christian" is portrayed as untrustworthy, lazy and unforgiving. One, for example, is an alcoholic who abuses his child.

Bryant does have some insight regarding young teens. However, there are passages in the story that are hard to credit to two eleven-year-old boys. One of many examples would be "'Jeff, don't you want to be a Christian, too?' Randy asked. 'You need a friend like Jesus.'"

Randy and Prince tends to preach at the reader. Bryant's writing style is good and quite readable and she does have good ideas for a story for young readers. However, as it stands, this book will have only a limited appeal and in many cases could cause offence.

Caroline Thomson is a librarian in Burlington, Ontario

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