Betsy Duffey Coaster

ISBN 13: 9780140369564

Coaster

4.25 avg rating
( 4 ratings by Goodreads )
 
9780140369564: Coaster

While secretly building a roller coaster in the woods, twelve-year-old Hart tries to come to terms with his parents' divorce and his mother's new relationship with a television weatherman.

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From Kirkus Reviews:

Twelve-year-old Hart's parents have been divorced now for two years, but he still has trouble accepting that their marriage is over. So when Hart's mother, Sandra, begins dating Dub, the local celebrity weatherman, Hart is inconsolable. The only thing that still gets him going is his passion for roller coasters--a passion he shares with his absent father, Kip. As his mother and Dub's relationship develops, Hart spends his time building a working roller coaster, the ``Termite,'' with his friend Frankie in a nearby ravine and waiting for Kip's letter to tell him which roller coaster they will ride that summer. The letter never arrives, Dub and Sandra become engaged, and Hart takes his first ride on the Termite--with disastrous consequences. In a night of agony and solitude, Hart learns that bravery is not flamboyant, as Kip believes: It takes courage to commit, which Kip can never do. Hart also realizes that he himself has courage--and not because he was foolish enough to ride the Termite. He later proves his bravery by accepting his mother's marriage and rejecting his father's values. Duffey (How to be Cool in the Third Grade, 1993, etc.) speaks directly to the problems facing many adolescents today. Hart's character resonates. (Fiction. 10+) -- Copyright ©1994, Kirkus Associates, LP. All rights reserved.

From School Library Journal:

Grade 4-6-The last thing that Hart, 12, wants to do is get to know his mother's new boyfriend, Dub Dugan. Compared to his father, Dub is a dud-even if he is a well-known weatherman with a Willard Scott personality. Hart and his father used to be a fearless duo and rode all kinds of roller coasters together. Unfortunately, that is about the only memory he has of the man since his parents' divorce two years ago. To keep that memory alive, he and his best friend secretly build a small coaster in the ravine behind their houses. When Hart decides to test it, he breaks his arm and learns that bravery comes in many forms. Dub is there for him and his mother, and he finally finds the courage to accept the changes in his life. The story's strength lies in the depiction of the main character's struggle with his idealization of his unreliable, absentee father. The ever-present image of roller coasters effectively twists its way throughout the novel, and Hart's fascination with them is believable.
Carol Schene, Taunton Public Schools, MA
Copyright 1994 Reed Business Information, Inc.

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Betsy Duffey
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