Monday, January 01, 2007

Doyle, Brian. Boy O'Boy

Doyle, Brian. Boy O'Boy. Groundwood Books, 2005 [0-888999-954-3]
Martin O'Boy (that's his name) lives in Ottawa, Canada during World War II. The war is drawing to a close but everything is not so great with him. His favorite grandmother died, they are low on money, and his parents are fighting all the time. Martin and his friend, Billy try to have fun looking at National Geographics and sneaking into the local movies. They also spend a lot of time at the church since they are both in the choir. The organist at the church has been very friendly with Martin and Billy. One day he takes Martin to an expensive ice cream show and to the park where the organist touches Martin and tries to get him to touch him. Martin has the sense to run away but one day he finds out that the organist is being friendly with Billy. Can he get Billy's mother in time? Can Martin and Billy find a way to get back at the organist? Will Billy's brother coming home from overseas help? This is the story of two boys living through the end of World War II. The child abuse scene is scary but not offensively descriptive. This 169 page book shows how a child predator is frequently someone the child knows and the situation...grows. It even sneaks up on the reader. This is a book with a powerful message which should be on middle school shelves.


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