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Fogelin, Adrian. The real question.

FOGELIN, Adrian. The real question. Peachtree. 240p. c2006. 1-56145-383-8. $15.95. JS *

Sixteen-year-old Fisher Brown has been studying for the SATs and college admission to Yale since sixth grade, when his mother left and the weight of his guidance-counselor father's expectations fell on his unprepared shoulders. Lest "Fish" forget his lofty goals, his father has taped homilies throughout their house. These cards give such SAT-beating advice as "Challenging reading in a variety of disciplines increases academic success," but the one that gnaws at Fish asks, "What is the real question?"

We first meet Fish while he is having a meltdown during a crucial chemistry exam. Subsequent scenes reveal his skinny, nerd-like body, his lack of social success, especially with his dream girl, and his relationship with his true and loyal best friend, a girl whose beauty is marred by the lack of a substantial chin. These scenes also reveal Fish's unique voice as he battles to keep his inner rebellion at bay and go along with the program. Trouble ensues when he meets Lonny, a free spirit, an on-the-road, let-tomorrow-take-care-of-itself kind of guy who invites him on a weekend travel adventure, which turns out to be three days of free labor re-roofing Lonny's ex-wife's house. Fish soon has a crush on the ex-wife, falls in love with Lonny's little boy, and sees Lonny for the near psychopathic avoider-of-responsibility he is. He winds up broke, alone, hungry and at the wrong end of the state about to blow his academic record. In solving his problems, he comes to value honesty, friendship, and reliability. This is a most entertaining read about a road trip from hell that takes many an unpredictable turn. Myrna Marler, Assoc. Prof. of English, BYU, Provo, UT

J--Recommended for junior high school students. The contents are of particular interest to young adolescents and their teachers.

S--Recommended for senior high school students.

*--The asterisk highlights exceptional books.
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Author:Marler, Myrna
Publication:Kliatt
Date:Nov 1, 2006
Words:318
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