________________ CM . . . . Volume XII Number 3 . . . . September 30, 2005


Skater Stuntboys. (Take it to the Xtreme).

Pam Withers.
North Vancouver, BC: Whitecap Books, 2005.
191 pp., pbk., $8.95.
ISBN 1-55285-647-X.

Grades 5-10 / Ages 10-15.

Review by Rita Rebizant.

**** /4


"Alyson told me. She told me because you hadn't. She obviously thought that I, as your best friend, should know something like that. It might have helped me handle your moodiness lately, Jake. And since Kwasi has become our coach, I saw no harm in giving him what he was halfway to figuring out anyway. He's been talking to Sam, you know. He'd have gotten what he wanted from Sam if not from me."

With every word, Peter's face was growing redder, and his defiant tone was fading. Jake could tell that Peter knew he'd crossed a line, no matter how he was trying to justify things. Jake felt himself shake with anger and humiliation. Coaches don't need to know intimate details of people's lives, and no way had Jake adopted Kwasi as his coach. How could Jake face Kwasi this morning, knowing he had that information? How dare Alyson tell Peter, and how dare Peter tell Kwasi.


Jake and Peter, both 15, are back in this fourth title of the “Take It to the Xtreme” sports novels. Skateboarding has become their latest passion, and they are thrilled about the new indoor skate park that has been developed in Chilliwack, B.C. Peter is especially looking forward to the tryouts for a skater stuntboy in an upcoming movie, and he is hoping this is his shot to make it to the big screen. Jake, on the other hand is having some difficulty dealing with conflicts going on his own life.

     It is the third anniversary of his father's leaving, and Jake is feeling the loss very acutely. He has become sullen and quiet, not participating at the same level that he normally does, and finding little solace on the half pipe. The new manager of Xtreme Sk8, Kwasi, is a psychologist-in-training, and he hopes that Jake will open up to him. Kwasi has his hands full with the array of characters that are spending time at the new park, and Jake and Peter have to face the three boys that are making Xtreme Sk8 their own as well.

     Things really heat up when the stunt tryouts bring with it a sabotage attempt that brings these boys together in an effort to solve the mystery.

     Another great book by Withers that not only moves quickly and has intense conflict with the characters, but also provided this reader with a whole new language of skater talk.

Highly Recommended.

Rita Rebizant is an Educational Assistant in Hanover School Division and a teacher candidate in the B.Ed. program at the University of Manitoba.

To comment on this title or this review, send mail to cm@umanitoba.ca.

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