Parents' Choice Foundation: Reviewing Children's Media Since 1978

Palms to the Ground

Palms to the Ground

Spring 2005 Fiction
Ages: 12 - 18 yrs.
Author: Amy Stolls
ISBN: 0-374-35731-5
Hardcover Price: $17.00
Calman Pulowitz is an odd and coddled kid. He has insomnia, a need for Pepto-Bismol and, since he was seven years old, a psychotherapist. Now, on the edge of manhood he is on the way from Boston to Walla Walla to finally meet his pen pal. The mystery and the fun start immediately. From the beginning the reader, eyes glued to the page, is smiling.

Calman's mom and dad are devoted, loving and slightly whacky. Still they do want some time of their own and for that reason, plus Calamn's need for an all on his own life experience, the boy starts on his journey across the country.

Admittedly surprised to learn, after months of letter writing to his pal, Rizzy, that she is a girl. She has several brothers, as well as an interesting group of people around her. There is Simon, a one finger short banjo player, Lily, her mother the monster-proper-lady, her three little brothers Fabio, Brock and Ricardo who go everywhere together. They look angelic asleep. There is also Tank the handy man whose "early morning hammering was less offensive than his body odor." Tank has a speech impediment that once heard is never forgotten.

For Calman this summer is the beginning of his grown-up life. Would it be flight or fright his therapist would sooner or later ask him. Whichever, it's a marvelous read. The characters are round and real, the setting full of color and the scene fresh. It's also the first novel for Amy Stalls.
Diana Huss Green   ©2005 Parents' Choice

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