School Library Journal
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Gr 8 Up-Cameron Wolfe, first introduced in Fighting Ruben Wolfe (Scholastic, 2001), wants a girlfriend. He wants sex. He wants to separate himself from his brothers' shadow. He wants to find himself and be something more than the underdog in the family. And he doesn't know how to go about getting what he wants. He is attracted to a girl who treats him horribly so he stands outside her house at night, hoping for glimpses of her. He likes his brother Ruben's girlfriend-and she treats him like a human being. When she and Ruben break up, Octavia shows an interest in Cameron and even though his brother already has another girlfriend, he beats up Cameron and Octavia walks away. Ruben has some bigger problems, though, and violence is once again his method of solving them. However, this is Cameron's story, and he discovers that he is much more than he ever thought he could be. His sister is the first to recognize her brother's strengths and helps give him the courage to face himself and his demons. The interaction of the characters is a real strength of this novel. It is a story of family dynamics and coming of age, interspersed with the protagonist's poignant poems and observations. The book, which was first published in Australia, should appeal to readers who want strong male characters such as those in Chris Crutcher's books.-Janet Hilbun, formerly at Sam Houston Middle School, Garland, TX (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.
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Octavia is narrator Cameron's first real girlfriend, but she is also the latest casualty of his womanizing older brother, Ruben (from Fighting Ruben Wolff), in Marcus Zusak's sequel, Getting the Girl. "Rube" is a compassionate friend to his younger brother until Cam's burgeoning into a sensitive companion to Octavia becomes something Ruben both admires and resents. Zusak's tale of first love turns into a complex and authentic rendering of one boy's earthy desires and pain, set against the landscape of Sydney, Australia. (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved