for First Boy
by Gary D. Schmidt
When fourteen-year-old Cooper Jewett’s grandfather dies, Cooper is left an orphan. His love for the land is the only certainty he has left, and he’s determined to continue running his grandparents’ New Hampshire dairy farm, the only home he’s ever known. His seemingly impossible struggle is soon complicated even more by a series of strange and unsettling events: one of the barns burns down, the house is robbed, and men in black sedans have shown up asking questions about Cooper’s past. Two neighbors helping to care for Cooper finally tell him a long-hidden truth: no one knows who his parents are. He had been abandoned by strangers on the farm as an infant. But someone knows—or thinks he knows—who Cooper is. The man behind the strong-arm tactics is running for President of the United States, and he believes Cooper is just what he needs to unseat the current President. First Boy has all the tension of a good thriller. There are unrealistic plot elements, and some secondary characters—particularly the “bad guys”—who lack dimension, but read as a suspense story rather than realistic fiction, it’s not only compelling but wholly satisfying. And at its core is a protagonist whose struggle for self-determination is worthy of any fine novel. (Ages 11–14)
CCBC Choices 2006 . © Cooperative Children's Book Center, Univ. of Wisconsin - Madison, 2006. Used with permission.
A fast-paced political thriller
“You’re my first boy, Cooper, my first boy,” grandfather says just before he dies. All alone in the world, without even a dog, the only thing that keeps Cooper going is running the dairy farm.
Suddenly, black sedans are swarming all around Cooper’s small New Hampshire town, driven by mysterious men in dark suits. Cooper’s barn is burned to the ground, and his house is broken into and searched during the night. The President of the United States calls on Cooper for a visit, and her opponent wants Cooper to join him on the campaign trail.
This fast-paced political thriller will have the reader turning the pages in anticipation of the next clue.
Publisher description retrieved from Google Books.