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Edenville Owls    by Robert B. Parker order for
Edenville Owls
by Robert B. Parker
Order:  USA  Can
Penguin, 2007 (2007)

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* *   Reviewed by Lyn Seippel

In seventh grade, Bobby Murphy and his friends form a basketball team called the Edenville Owls. They don't have a school gym or a coach, so have to hitchhike or take the bus to get to games. They hope to catch the attention of the coach in Eastfield, which is where they'll be going to high school. Their Owls team makes them well known in the small town of Edenville.

Parker's first young adult novel begins in 1945 just after World War II. It's set in a small Massachusetts coastal town. Bobby Murphy and his friends are entering eighth grade. Their teacher, Claudia Delaney, is new to the school and hides a troubled past. Bobby and the Edenville Owls soon become caught up in a mystery that involves Miss Delaney and a shadowy man who is seen harassing her. When she comes to school with bruises, they are sure he is abusing her as well. At a time when neighbors took care of neighbors, Bobby and his friends are ready to come to their teacher's defense, unaware of the danger that will result from their actions.

Edgar Award-winning author Robert B. Parker introduces a group of boys who are coming of age at a time when everything is changing. Bobby manages to keep his integrity and honor as he finds ways to investigate the teacher's past and expose a blackmailer. Parker manages to throw in a good mystery while Bobby questions the meaning of friendship, racism and manhood.

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