Tenderness

by Robert Cormier

Robert Cormier breaks more new ground in young adult fiction with a compelling profile... read more

Robert Cormier breaks more new ground in young adult fiction with a compelling profile of a teenage serial killer and the young woman who seems fated to be his next victim. Eric Poole was convicted of killing his mother and stepfather. Now he is 18 and free. The police detective who suspects, correctly, that Eric was also responsible for the deaths of two young women around the same time his parents were killed cannot produce any evidence to charge him. Lori Cranston is 16 and adrift, trying to figure out the difference between "love and sex and lust"as she searches for "someone who would be tender with me."It is a search that leads her to Eric Poole. At first unaware of Eric's background, Lori soon realizes the danger he presents, but it is a danger that doesn't matter to her, so intent is she on trying to connect with someone and so little does she value her life. Something in this touches Eric like nothing else ever has. In a compelling and disturbing narrative that alternates between Lori's heartbreaking first-person voice and a chilling third-person description of Eric's moral and emotional disconnection from the world around him, Cormier creates an intense psychological drama that bares two wounded souls. (Age 15 and older)

© Cooperative Children's Book Center, Univ. of Wisconsin - Madison, 1997

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