CM . . .
. Volume IX Number 15 . . . . March 28, 2003
Rider and Who Owns Kelly Paddick? were both originally
published by Maxwell Macmillan as part of its hi-lo series, “Series
2000,” with Halvorson’s Bull Rider appearing in
1989 and Goobie’s Who Owns Kelly Paddick? in 1993. Initially,
the most obvious difference between the two versions, other than the
new cover art, is in the books’ interior physical appearance
for the “Orca Soundings” books do not contain the full
page black and white illustrations which had been a characteristic
of “Series 2000.” However, a comparative reading of the
two versions of each book reveals that both books have undergone significant
revisions though their original storylines remain essentially intact.
While the original Bull Rider was a most acceptable read, the revised version is much richer in a number of ways including, as shown in the comparative extracts below, the addition of details which further character relationships.
Additionally, Layne’s relationship with his 12-year-old sister, Tara aka Terror, has also been modified in a positive direction. Originally, she was just the pesky little sister who, because of her knowledge of Layne’s bull-riding activities, was able to blackmail him into including her in a number of happenings. In the “Series 2000" copy, Layne simply thanked Tara for distracting Rhino, the Brahma bull, after he had been thrown from the animal’s back.. However in the revised “Orca Soundings” offering, Layne adds, “Dad would have been proud of you.” This sentence then leads to seven additional paragraphs, which, among other things, reveal Tara’s real fear that Layne might also die in the same fashion that their father had. The concluding chapter, which focuses on Layne’s rodeo participation, has been enlarged, and the increased detail draws out the tension and drama surrounding the bull-riding event. Inflation has also overtaken Bull Rider so that the 2003 mother gives Layne and Tara $50.00 to visit the rodeo while the 1989 mother provided just $20.00.
Goobie’s Who Owns Kelly Paddick? essentially occurs within the confines of Winnipeg’s Marymound School for Girls where 15-year-old Kelly Paddick has been sent following a suicide attempt at her group home. Readers come to learn that, commencing when Kelly was aged five, she had been sexually abused by her father. At age 10, Kelly had begun running away from home to live on the streets because her mother had refused to believe what Kelly had told her about the abuse. While in Marymound, Kelly’s initial goal is to steal one of the master keys so that she could escape. Complicating Kelly’s life there is her having crossed Terri, the center’s toughest girl, by nicknaming her Pit Bull, the sobriquet becoming known to Terri. Although Kelly’s dad had been killed in a car accident a couple of years before, Kelly’s memories of him still control her life, and. in a sense, he “owns” her. When Chris, another “inmate,” shares her own painful history of abuse, Kelly is able to begin the process of re-assuming ownership of her life.
Like Bull Rider, Who Owns Kelly Paddick? evidences numerous small changes which further develop character relationships and more smoothly move the plot along. As well, in Who Owns Kelly Paddick? the additions also clarify the physical setting and further reveal the impact of the sexual abuse on Kelly. The latter can be seen in the following comparative example which involves Kelly’s visit to one of Marymound’s social workers.
While the 1993 volume had 11 chapters, the 2003 rendering has 12 with the additional chapter being the result of the “old” chapter five being split into two.
Both titles are most worthy additions to hi-lo collections.
Dave Jenkinson teaches courses in YA literature at the Faculty of Education, the University of Manitoba.
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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.