Bullying by Hollis is the terror of Robert’s school days. The start of eight grade is worse than ever, Hollis decides to flush him down the toilet. Robert has an unlikely rescuer, Nathan, the new boy in school. The incident results in parents being called to school to deal with the problem. Robert’s parents are willing to back off, but Nathan’s dad is having none of it. Bullying is wrong and he calls the principal on it.
From this beginning, Robert and Nathan become fast friends. They stick together through personal loss and all the angst of teenage boys growing up and learning about the world. Robert is timid, but Nathan prizes freedom. He wants to fly like the kites his father makes.
The novel is filled with the joy of friendship and the tragedy of loss. The characters are very well conceived. Hollis gives you someone to dislike and Nathan is someone you’d like to have for a friend. I enjoyed the book. The juxtaposition between everyday life, friendship, and tragedy is a heavy mixture. It keeps you reading.
I highly recommend this coming of age story. The setting is well done and the characters come to life.
I received this book from Penguin for this review.