Wednesday, January 02, 2008

"Guarding Lacey" by Kris Nelscott

From: Chicago Blues. Ed. Libby Fischer Hellman,

Set in January 1970, this story is from the viewpoint of Jim, a boy rescued by Nelscott's series P.I. Smokey Dalton after witnessing the assassination of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Now twelve years old and masquerading as Dalton's son, Jim recounts watching his thirteen-year-old cousin Lacey go through puberty and begin to attract undue attention.

As in the previously reviewed "Johnny Seven", the world of children is shown as disparate from that of adults, and because of this, Jim is reluctant to report his suspicions to Dalton. All the same, readers know along with Jim that Lacey is bound for trouble, and when things go wrong, Jim wishes he could have done more.

Excellent period and cross-gender writing.

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