Synopses & Reviews
Could life as a foster kid lead to unexpected benefits? A teenagers link to animals gives way to human connection in a smart, incisive new novel.
Sixteen-year-old Ted OConnors parents just died in a fiery car crash, and now hes stuck with a set of semi-psycho foster parents, two foster brothers — Astin, the cocky gearhead, and C.W., the sometimes gangsta — and an inner-city high school full of delinquents. Hes having pretty much the worst year of his miserable life. Or so he thinks. Is it possible that becoming an orphan is not the worst thing that could have happened to him?
Master novelist Ron Koertge brings his best work yet, a smart, surprising story full of trademark wit and sharp insight about a boy learning to run with a new pack.
"'After his parents die in a car crash, 10th-grader Ted is placed in foster care. He is sent to live with the Rafter family, where he gains two foster brothers: C.W. and Astin. Although his new home is only six miles from where he grew up, it feels light years away from his previous life. Ted's birth parents ran a small pet shop and he often believed they cared more for the animals than they did for him; at his old school, his social awkwardness left him friendless. But while Ted finds the Rafters themselves to be a bit odd (Mrs. Rafter keeps a doll in her bedroom, unable to recover from the loss of a child), his new foster brothers like him, especially Astin, a talented mechanic, who mentors him on being more outgoing and approachable. Ted's attempts to come to terms with both his parents' death and his new life are aided by his ability to communicate with animals, which often serves as a source of comfort. A sparrow encourages him to 'think about something else,' and a lion at the zoo suggests, 'What you need, Theodore, is a pride. If you can get some females to hunt for you, that's all the better.' Readers will root for Ted as he learns how to feel comfortable both around other people and in his own skin. Using deft touches of humor and an element of the supernatural, Koertge (Boy Girl Boy) delivers a stirring account of a boy's rise above difficult circumstances. Ages 14-up. (June)' Publishers Weekly (Starred Review) (Copyright Reed Business Information, Inc.)"
Sixteen-year-old Ted O'Connor's parents have just died in a fiery car crash, and now he's stuck with a set of psycho foster parents. He's having pretty much the worst year of his miserable life--or so he thinks.
About the Author
Ron Koertge is the author of many celebrated novels, including MARGAUX WITH AN X, STONER AND SPAZ, THE ARIZONA KID, WHERE THE KISSING NEVER STOPS, and THE BRIMSTONE JOURNALS. He lives in South Pasadena, California.