Wednesday, February 25, 2009

What Mrs N's Been Reading - Dooley Takes the Fall

Man, I'm tired! Take that as praise for Norah McClintock's Dooley Takes the Fall which I finished reading at about 1:00 a.m. What can I say? Just had to finish it. The story starts with Ryan Dooley, out for a walk after being sent home from his video store clerk job early on a slow night, looking down at the body of a fellow student who had fallen (or jumped, or was pushed?) from a bridge a moment earlier. Dooley is a high school junior (or the Canadian equivalent) who was recently released from a juvenile prison on a restricted release, and is just trying to stay clean and under the radar. With a record, the police are suspicious when he is the one with the body when they get there. That gets worse when word gets out that Dooley had been in a fight with the dead student previously. Things get even worse as it seems that Dooley is being set up to take the blame for, not only that death, but another one that occurs a few days later. Who would want to do that to him, and why? This reminded me a lot of Gail Giles' books. I'm a big fan of hers, as you probably know if you've been reading my other reviews. Gail, if you're reading this (and she probably actually is, since she has commented on my reviews of her books) happy to get a plug in for your books, even when I'm reviewing someone else's. Anyway, Dooley is the kind of character that Gail would have written about - comes from a miserable home background, has been in plenty of trouble, yet you still find yourself liking him and pulling for him. No one is the type of person they initially appear to be. There is plenty of suspense, and twists and turns. Highly recommended for older middle school students and high school students. McClintock has also written several books in the Orca Soundings collection. If you aren't familiar with those, they are geared toward older middle school or high school students who are not strong readers. They're right around 100 pages long, with no difficult vocabulary, but a plot that will keep the interest of an older student. Every middle school, high school, and public library should have some of them. Nice to see McClintock getting into the longer teen books, as well. I look forward to more from her.

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