CM . . .
. Volume XIII Number 3 . . . . September 29, 2006
The Internet gives pedophiles who prey on young boys and girls the anonymity of the net to reach unsophisticated youngsters. This growing problem is worldwide, and a source of concern to parents. Ready to Run shows how a young girl can become a victim by chatting on the net, and how the person she is chatting with can manipulate and deceive at will. Lonely? Meet a friend online. Feel like an outsider? Meet someone online who shares your angst. A nerd? Meet a fellow nerd who can share your feelings. Want a boyfriend who is more exciting than the boys at your school? Dustin will fill that need and want you to keep the relationship an exciting secret. When Remy, the feisty protagonist, realizes that her friend is in trouble, she finds that her running skills can save her friend when the meeting with Dustin takes place.
I liked the easy, breezy prose style and the issue of Internet pedophiles set against a solid background of sports. Librarians will be happy to recommend this book to grade 6-8 teens who are reluctant readers.
Out of Sight, by Robert Rayner, another in the “Sports Stories” series, is written in the same breezy manner as Ready to Run. Rayner, a former elementary school principal, seems to have a good feel for the angst often suffered by girls concerning their appearance and need for social acceptance by their peers. The protagonist, Linh-Mai, has to adjust to wearing glasses, which is a worry to her as she loves to play soccer. But her own concerns are overtaken by her growing awareness that her friend Brian seems to be having serious vision problems.
From the beginning of the soccer game, Linh-Mai felt herself under triple threat. For starters, she was still trying to get used to playing in her new glasses. In addition, she didn't have Brian behind her in goal, taking charge of the defence...and finally, she was used to having Toby beside her as fullback, slow but dependable - but fully sighted.
The ending is tender but realistic, with no false hopes or miraculous cures. Out of Sight shows some of the adult sorrows and challenges that even immature teens sometimes have to learn to handle.
Wendy Williams is a teacher- librarian in Calgary, AB.
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Copyright © the Manitoba Library Association. Reproduction for personal use is permitted only if this copyright notice is maintained. Any other reproduction is prohibited without permission.