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Weir, Ian.

Toronto, Scholastic-TAB, 1988. 164pp, paper. $3.95, ISBN 0-590-71837-1. CIP

Grades 5 to 10/Ages 10 to 15
B. Henley-Hodgson

Volume 17 Number 3
1989 May

Just as Walter Mitty escaped into a fantasy world to deal with the pain of his reality, so too does B.J. Noakes, star of The Video Kid. What B. J. is escaping is not boredom and submission; he is simply trying to come to terms with who he is-a "scrawny fourteen-year-old with carrot-coloured hair and more freckles than anyone should have to be cursed with."

Ian Weir, a Canadian playwright and columnist, has written a terrific first novel for teenagers. The story is written in a style appropriate to the age group. The plot moves quickly and there are several crises throughout, which build suspense and heighten interest.

Aside from B.J., with whom teenagers will identify and share highs and lows, there are the usual "flatter" characters necessary for plot development. These include Bimbo, the class "tough guy": Clint Amberville, the glamour-boy football star; Terry Greenwood, Glint's friend and bully to all others; and Madeleine, the beauty who "belongs," of course, to Clint. These characters, along with B.J.'s family, are just what is needed to provide B.J. with the lessons he needs to grow up.

In conclusion, although the secondary characters are stereotypes and the events are somewhat contrived, the novel has a quality that shines through the character of B.J. Noakes, the Video Kid. This novel is a must for any young adult library shelf!

B. Henley-Hodgson, Brantford C.I. & V.S., Brantford, Ont.
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