Face the Dragon

ISBN 10: 0440212464 / ISBN 13: 9780440212461
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Synopsis: Inspired by the tale of Beowulf and his quest, Eric decides to confront his fears, taking on Mr. Drake, his manipulative debating teacher. Reprint. VY.

From School Library Journal: Eric and Paul, best friends since childhood, join 4 other 14-year-olds in an accelerated program at their local high school. Beowulf and Melanie Church, a pretty fellow student, are Eric's strongest influences during this experience. Like Beowulf, Eric decides to face his dragons, including his fear of public speaking and a lack of skill in athletics. As he becomes more confident, he is dismayed to find that he must compete with Paul--supremely sure of himself in every area--for Melanie's affections. In a climactic scene, Eric discovers that far from being confident, Paul is racked by fears that he may be homosexual, fears that a menacing teacher exposes in a malevolent way. Eric realizes that he is like Beowulf's comrade who remembers "as a good man must, what kinship should mean," and sets aside the competition for the sake of his friendship with Paul. Subplots about the friendship among the six young people, all with problems (including a disabled boy and an anorexic, highly competitive athlete), are interwoven into the story. The frank language of adolescents is aptly depicted and flows naturally. Sweeney provides a series of devastatingly accurate portraits of teachers, some of which may make adult readers uncomfortable, but who seem all too familiar. --Barbara Chatton, College of Education, University of Wyoming, Laramie
Copyright 1990 Reed Business Information, Inc.

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Title: Face the Dragon
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