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V.M. Jones


Publisher:HarperCollins Publishers (New Zealand)

Like so many kids, Joshua works hard at appearing to be just your average 12-year-old. He does OK at school. He has plenty of friends although he hasnt had a best friend since he was five years old. And hes very good at sport. Buddy is an account of six weeks in the spring he turns thirteen, and in his candid, humorous, narrative he reveals the real Josh a sensitive, likeable but troubled boy, whos made an art form of seeming just like everyone else and keeping the warring elements of his life safely apart. Like his dads new relationship with his live-in partner Suzanne...like the intense rivalry between himself and Hank Hunter, the school golden boy ...like his intense fear of water. And his biggest, most painful secret of all...Buddy. Buddy explores issues of compelling relevance to boys and girls on the threshold of adolescence: the pressure to conform and the strength it takes to be different; loyalty; honesty, courage and love.These significant issues are handled within an exciting and absorbing story by a writer of consummate skill and sensitivity, managing the very difficult task of talking about serious topics without preaching, or losing the magic of a brilliant story superbly told. And it makes you cry. Ages 9-12

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