Fun in the Yellow Pages
Bobbi Groover
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Buy *Fun in the Yellow Pages* online Fun in the Yellow Pages Bobbi Groover
Ryrich Publications
148 pages
January 1998
rated 3 of 5 possible stars

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For children only! Bobbi Groover's story of a dreaded family vacation is targeted at kids between the ages of eight and eleven, but it can be a big help for a parent wanting to curl up with their own latest book purchase. With you at one end of the couch and your child at the other, you can share an hour of quiet time, each with your own book in hands. An oblique examination of domestic abuse as discovered in the context of another emotionally healthy family, Fun in the Yellow Pages delivers positive messages for a young reader. The need for sympathy, tolerance and understanding when dealing with others is explored through the precocious eyes of twelve-year-old Pierson.

Curled Up With a Good BookA bright, likable boy, Pierson is horrified that his parents have decided to take a summer-long vacation at his uncle's remote cabin in the Pennsylvania mountains. Although his parents try to convince him of the potential fun of a few months of wilderness living, Pierson remains dubious. When they agree to take along Pierson's brooding bully of a cousin, Will, the trip sinks even lower on Pierson's scale of dread. A sullen teenager, Will has gotten into troubles and scrapes ever increasingly in the few years since his father left him and his mother. Will's mother Maggie is at the end of her rope with her delinquent child, and Pierson's father prescribes their family vacation as just the medicine Will needs, and the rest Maggie deserves.

Once the family arrives at the cabin, the summer starts off on a sour note. Pierson's parents give Will responsibility for Pierson while Will gruffly commands Pierson to stay out of his hair. Will pushes the envelope of his aunt and uncle's tolerance, slipping out at night without their permission. But Will's tough-guy stance slips when Pierson hears him whimpering in his sleep, troubled by mysterious nightmares.

Pierson and Will are invited to help a neighboring farmer with work around his spread, and are introduced to the farmer's horses. Pierson becomes close to the aging horse Symphony, while Will is drawn to the abused and skittish Rocky. Will swears Pierson to secrecy when he begins making attempts to ride Rocky, another thing he is doing without permission. When Rocky's owner, the farmer Russell Kuntz, sees Will riding Rocky, and Will refuses to own up to it, Pierson's father forbids Will from riding Rocky. Tensions escalate until Pierson's father finds the right button to push, and the secret behind Will's nightmares comes flooding out. As the summer nears its end, one final legend-making event will decide what Will ultimately feels about himself.

A contained, happily-ending story, Fun in the Yellow Pages explores troubling issues without graphic detail. This story is appropriate for all sorts of children -- if they like horses, or are an only child, or know an older or bullying child, live in the city, suburbs, or in a rural area, Fun in the Yellow Pages has something familiar and engaging for them.

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