________________ CM . . . . Volume VIII Number 15 . . . . March 29, 2002

cover Candy on the Edge.

Don Kerr.
Regina, SK: Coteau Books, 2001.
137 pp., pbk., $9.95.
ISBN 1-55050-189-5.

Grades 7 -9 / Ages 12-14.

Review by Betsy Fraser.

** /4

exerpt:

Gerald left and walked down Twentieth Street, and he knew sure as shooting it was Candy. His heart sank. He walked over the traffic bridge. He thought, she could not have done it. She could not have known. That Sam is duplicitous. You can't trust Sam as far as you could throw her.

Thirteen-year-old Candy is tired of grade eight and of her boring life in Saskatoon. Attracted by the same habits and behaviors that scare her mother, Candy starts hanging out with some older kids. She sees them smoke, drink, and shoplift, but hanging out with them makes her feel exciting and gives her access to Raymon, the Chilean car thief who flirts with them. For their part, two of these "evil" teens have included Candy in their circle because her innocence is useful to them. Another pair, Ramon and Sam, use Candy as a dupe in their robbery of a bingo parlour and then leave town. Candy realizes what has happened and then, not only does she have to live with an incredible sense of guilt and having been foolish, but there also remains the possibility that she will be caught.

The characters in Candy on the Edge are rather two-dimensional, and their motives are left largely ambiguous. There is no satisfactory resolution to Candy's participation in the crime or in her change in behavior. When Candy visits Sam, one of the now incarcerated teens that used her as a diversion, Sam states that she would rather be in jail than in school, perhaps not the most ideal friend for a girl who should have learned something about character and the nature of friendship. Nevertheless, younger teens will no doubt gobble up this light, quick read about one girl's brush with disaster.

Recommended with reservations.

Betsy Fraser is the Youth Services Librarian with Calgary Public Library.

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

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.

Published by
The Manitoba Library Association
ISSN 1201-9364

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