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Buxton, Jamie. Temple Boys.

4Q * 3P * M * J * S

Buxton, Jamie. Temple Boys. Roaring Brook/ Macmillan, 2015. 288p. $17.99. 978-1-62672036-7.

Street kid Flea is struggling to survive in Jerusalem's year zero. He scours the city with a gang of teens who steal and beg for a livelihood, and although curious and intuitive, Flea does not have much of a chance to express himself or even work towards a future when he barely knows what the next day will bring. When a stranger known as the Magician arrives in town and stirs up the Holy City, the ire of the occupying Roman army is set ablaze, and Flea finds himself caught between both groups. Does he want to follow the Magician, who claims to be a savior with the gift of bringing people back from the dead, or will he choose survival above all else, acting as a spy for a ferocious Roman soldier?

Written in a time period not often covered in teen fiction, Temple Boys moves at a quick and adventurous pace that will have readers cheering for Flea and hoping that he endures. The notion of saviors and the power of a mass belief in the unproven add an interesting element, and, although set in a time long ago, Flea and his friends talk and act in a modern way that is easily relatable. Flea's choices, made all on his own as he was orphaned as a young child, feel genuine both for a teenage boy and the time period. Does he believe in a Savior? Will the Magician's predictions of the poor overtaking the rich come true? Does Flea really have an influence in the city's fate? Readers who are interested in this particular time period and those who enjoy adventure and intrigue will be hustling to the end to find the answers.-- Nina Michael.

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Author:Michael, Nina
Publication:Voice of Youth Advocates
Article Type:Book review
Date:Feb 1, 2015
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