________________ CM . . . . Volume IX Number 9 . . . . January 3, 2003

cover

The Bachelors. (The Black Belt Series).

Don Trembath.
Victoria, BC: Orca, 2002.
160 pp., pbk., $8.95.
ISBN 1-55143-209-9.

Grades 5-7 / Ages 10-12.

Review by Christina Neigel.

**** /4

excerpt:

“What do you have there?”

Charlie smiled. “Videos,” he said, lifting his eyebrows. “Triple X. And magazines that’ll make your head spin.

Jeffrey dropped the suitcase. “What?”

“Hey,” said Charlie. “Be careful with that. My dad will kill me if anything happens to the stuff in there.”

Jeffrey stood straight and looked at his friend. “Tell me you’re joking.”

“About what?”

“About what you just said.”

“What did I just say?”

“About the contents of this suitcase.”

Charlie glanced down at the suitcase, then up again. His face was pure innocence. “Why would I be joking about the contents of the suitcase?”

The third book in “The Black Belt Series” finds the main character, Jeffrey, having to spend a week with his grandpa while his mother accompanies his grandma to the city for heart surgery. In an attempt to keep Jeffery out of trouble, his mother encourages Jeffery to invite two friends, Sydney and Charlie, to stay with him during her absence. During that time, Jeffery is forced to contend with Charlie’s habit of storytelling and with Sydney’s tendency to solve problems with his fists. Through realistic yet comical situations, the three boys become closer friends.

     Trembath’s carefully crafted language is central to the success of this novel. The language used by his characters is extremely realistic, and Trembath has made no attempt to sanitize the language or the grim reality of his characters’ lives. Although the situational humour offsets the darker moments in the book, it does not belittle the underlying issues the boys each face.

     Although part of a series, this work can easily stand on its own. The Bachelors is an excellent book, particularly for reluctant male readers.

Highly Recommended.

Christina Neigel is the Instruction Librarian for the University College of the Cariboo in Kamloops, BC.

 

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
Hosted by the University of Manitoba.

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