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Edenville Owls

Review

Edenville Owls

Award-winning author Robert B. Parker breaks new ground with
EDENVILLE OWLS. The New England setting of his Spenser
series remains the same, and the aura of mystery and suspense
within its pages is also familiar. What's different is the novel's
intended audience --- young readers.


EDENVILLE OWLS is a coming-of-age story centering on Bobby Murphy,
an intelligent and courageous young man growing up in changing
times. World War II has just ended, and when summer vacation comes
to a close, Bobby is happy to find out he has a pretty teacher
named Miss Claudia Delaney.


After Bobby and his friends --- Nick, Billy, Russell and Manny ---
enter eighth grade, they decide to start their own basketball team,
which they call the Edenville Owls. They have no coach, but Bobby
has a plan and the Owls are quick and eager learners. As their
skills improve and the Owls start winning games, their friendships
become stronger. And just as the Owls are challenged on the
basketball court, their loyalty to one another is also put to the
test.


Another of Bobby's classmates, Joanie Gibson, has been his friend
since they were three years old. And Joanie is one of the first
girls in eighth grade to develop breasts. At times, Bobby is unsure
how to act around her, especially after she invites Nick to a
party. Bobby is also confused over his feelings for Miss Delaney;
he worries that his thoughts about her are venial sins.


While staying after school one day, Bobby and Billy see a tall man
wearing a "trench coat and a dark snap-brimmed hat" arguing with
Miss Delaney. The boys offer to intervene, but she asks them not to
mention what they saw to anyone, especially to their principal.
Later, when Miss Delaney comes to school with bruises after she
"fell down the stairs," Bobby decides to find out who the
mysterious man is and why he's threatening their teacher.


Bobby enlists Joanie's help, and together they discover a dangerous
truth about this shady individual and some secrets about Miss
Delaney. Her motive for keeping her past hidden shines a spotlight
on some of the obstacles working women faced decades ago. Parker
uses a light touch in drawing attention to this and other issues,
such as racial and ethnic prejudice, that existed in that
era.


I enjoyed the novel's plot, setting, characters and message.
EDENVILLE OWLS is about friendship, loyalty and courage --- but
most of all it's a story about an innocent and first love that is
destined to endure.


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Reviewed by Donna Volkenannt on October 18, 2011

Edenville Owls
by Robert B. Parker

  • Publication Date: April 24, 2007
  • Genres: Thriller
  • Hardcover: 224 pages
  • Publisher: Philomel
  • ISBN-10: 0399246568
  • ISBN-13: 9780399246562