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Dooley Takes The Fall by Norah McClintock
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Dooley Takes The Fall

by Norah McClintock

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Well crafted tale of a guy who is trying to make something of himself, but almost gets pulled down by an over zealous cop, who seems out to get him.

Dooley finds the dead body of a classmate from school and gets sucked into a police investigation.

How popular? Don't know, but really like it. ( )
1 vote Kaybowes | May 11, 2010 |
LIKED
  BryanNash | Nov 17, 2009 |
Richie's Picks: DOOLEY TAKES THE FALL by Norah McClintock, Red Deer Press, 2008, 314p. ISBN: 978-0-88995-403-8

"Nobody told me there'd be days like these." -- John Lennon

"Dooley was looking down at the kid sprawled on the asphalt path in the ravine when two things happened. First, Dooley's pager vibrated. Dooley knew without checking that it was his uncle trying to reach him. Second, a boy maybe twelve years old, on a bike, stopped next to Dooley, looked at the kid lying on the pavement and said, 'Is he dead?'"

Teenager Mark Everley is, in fact, dead, having gone off a bridge (Fell? Pushed?) under the evening's full moon. Seventeen-year-old Ryan Dooley was out walking, after leaving work at the video store, when he looked up and saw Everley, in the distance, taking a header toward that asphalt path.

"'Mark Everley,' his uncle said at last. 'The kid who went off the bridge.' He shoved the newspaper across the table to Dooley. 'You didn't tell me he went to your school.'
"'I thought I recognized him,' Dooley said, which was true. 'But his head was kind of smashed up, so I wasn't sure' which wasn't true, but it sounded a lot nicer than saying what he was actually thinking (It couldn't have happened to a more deserving person), which would have only annoyed his uncle. 'Anyway, I didn't know that was his name and the cops didn't tell me,' which was also true."

Dooley has come to live with his uncle after spending significant time in confinement for an incident involving a baseball bat. He has only been attending this school for a few weeks.

Dooley's uncle is a retired cop who now owns a couple of dry cleaning stores. Dooley's father has never been in the young man's life. Prior to confinement, and his current residency in his uncle's house, Dooley had grown up bouncing around with his substance-prone mother from place to place and school to school.

Inch by inch, we come to know that Dooley has a significant measure of goodness and compassion in him, and that Dooley's past behavior has sometimes been unforgivable. But the questions to be puzzled out in this great YA crime mystery include: How does Dooley fit into the death of Mark Everley? What will come to pass between Dooley and Everley's beautiful sister? How does the young illegal alien Esperanza fit into the mystery?

And what can Dooley possibly do to alter what comes to seem like an inevitable path toward re-incarceration?

"The main reason was the feeling in his gut, the one that made everything churn, even milk and cereal, the feeling that in the old days he would have warded off with booze or pills or weed or whatever was handy. It was the same feeling that used to creep over him when he was a kid and all alone in a dark room, listening for noises out in the hall (doors opening, footsteps approaching, hammering on the door) or in his mother's room next to his. It was the feeling that came on him when he got called on in school and he didn't know the answer and kids would look at him like he was stupid. It was the feeling that however bad things were now, they were about to get worse."

Methodically offering readers vital little pieces of the puzzle, veteran Canadian author Norah McClintock has fashioned a tense, high interest young adult mystery around a vulnerable, complex teenager who has made some really bad choices in the past and is trying to get it right this time.

Richie Partington, MLIS
Richie's Picks http://richiespicks.com
Moderator, http://groups.yahoo.com/group/middle_school_lit/
BudNotBuddy@aol.com
http://www.myspace.com/richiespicks ( )
1 vote richiespicks | May 21, 2009 |
Dooley was looking down at the kid sprawled on the asphalt path in the
  carlsonn | Mar 29, 2009 |
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0889954038, Paperback)


White Pine nominee, 2009

Spinetingler Magazine Award Nominee, 2009

Canadian Children's Book Centre Our Choice, 2009

A boy maybe twelve years old, on a bike, stopped next to Dooley, looked at the kid sprawled on the pavement and said, "Is he dead?"

"Yeah, I think so," Dooley said. In fact, he was sure of it because there was no air going into or coming out of the lungs of the kid on the pavement. Also, the kid's open eyes were staring at nothing, and his head was twisted, as if he had turned to look at something just before he made contact with the hard surface of the path.

Right away, Dooley knows he's in trouble. For one thing he's got a record. For another, the dead kid isn't exactly a stranger - and he's no friend.

So slowly the net begins to close around 17-year-old Dooley, a troubled lone wolf who has a couple of strikes against him already. Not many are on Dooley's side; in fact at times he even wonders whether his uncle - a retired cop - thinks he's guilty again. There's a big question of trust in their uneasy relationship, and his uncle is the only one standing between Dooley and big time disaster.

The dead kid's sister Beth is someone Dooley would like to have think better of him as well - but she also suspects he's involved in the crime. And all around him are other teenagers at school and in the world he's drawn into who would like to pin him with responsibility for a growing number of murders that swirl through the city.

Norah McClintock, five-time winner of the Arthur Ellis juvenile crime award, has now moved into a different realm with a richly detailed novel aimed at older teens. Gritty, hard-edged, Dooley Takes the Fall is the first in a trilogy of mysteries about a troubled teenager struggling to free himself from the tentacles of his past and the implications of the present conspiracies that surround him.

(retrieved from Amazon Mon, 30 Sep 2013 13:26:29 -0400)

As a troubled teen struggles to free himself from his past and the implications of the present conspiracies that surround him, Dooley tries to prove his innocence in a suicide that looks like murder.

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Red Deer Press

An edition of this book was published by Red Deer Press.

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