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Leslie Choyce
Halifax, Formac Publishing, 1993. 137pp,
paper, $8.95, ISBN 0-88780-239-7. CIP

Grades 7-9 / Ages 12-14

Reviewed by Meredith MacKeen

Volume 22 Number 4
1994 September

This young adult novel focuses on four musicians who develop their own band and face the choice of staying with their principles or appealing to commercial radio. It is styled as a high interest/low vocabulary read, aimed to appeal to students who consider themselves musicians or rebels against society. This paperback is a good quick read.

The fast-moving plot advances from one set of problems to the next and is told by Mick. At first, he is worried that the person he assaulted and robbed will report him to the police. Next, the dynamics of the band in which he had become the drummer shift as the victim, a homosexual, becomes chief guitarist. Lastly, the demands of the music morality interests who want to attack the band's condom song and the hostility of Mick's former gang add to the complications.

The characters in the story are meant to represent the mix found in most high schools. The two main characters are given some dimensions. Darianna is suitably feisty and assertive. Mick changes from a sexist homophobe who assaults certain victims into a young man concerned about protecting the democratic rights of his former friends in the gang. With such a composition, the book has lively dialogue!

The writing style is in the popular lingo of many teens and has the quality of someone speaking. The theme of standing up for your principles will appeal to idealists, and readers will be satisfied that Mick has matured so well. This story will find a readership at the grade 7 to 9 level.

Meredith MacKeen is a teacher-librarian at Souris Regional High School in Souris, Prince Edward Island

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