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Hidden talents
David Lubar
Teen Fiction LUBAR

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From Publishers' Weekly:

After being expelled from any number of schools, 13-year-old Martin winds up at Edgeview, a publicly funded boarding school and a last-chance alternative. Martin, who narrates, doesn't seem like a delinquent, but he just can't stop himself from taunting his teachers. By the end of his first day he has infuriated the whole staff. Of the kids, Bloodbath is a terror, as are his cronies, but Martin's roommate, "Torchie," is nice enough, although he constantly denies starting the fires that flare up wherever he goes. The other boys Martin gets to know similarly refuse to own up to the particular behavior that landed them at Edgeview. Readers expecting a typical resolution, wherein the boys accept responsibility for their misdeeds, are in for a surprise. Martin's buddies aren't liars and troublemakers at all; unbeknownst even to themselves, they're endowed with paranormal powers: Cheater is telepathic, Trash is telekinetic, Flinch is clairvoyant, etc. Led by Martin, who finally discovers his own hidden talent, the six use their abilities to save Edgeview from Bloodbath and his gang's attempts to sabotage a state inspection. The stakes are a little suspect (would these boys really develop such passionate school spirit?), but on the whole Lubar (Kidzilla) serves up great fun, along with an insight or two for those whose powers are only too human. Ages 12-up. (June) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved

From Library Journal:

Gr 6-8-Edgeview Alternative School represents the end of the line for Martin Anderson. At 13, he's been kicked out of every school in his district, and feels more than a little skeptical about making a new start in this lonely, gray place. Still, he begins to establish tentative friendships with his pyromaniac roommate, Torchie, and a few of the other kids. They band together to form some small wall of protection against the school's most disturbed bully, Lester Bloodbath. Soon, Martin suspects that his friends are far more than ordinary misfits, and he confronts them with his theories about their psychic powers. His excitement in his discovery turns to disappointment when they turn against him out of fear of being labeled freaks. Fortunately, a class science experiment finally gives Martin the evidence he needs to persuade his friends of their talents. He coaches them as they learn to control their powers and leads them as they face their greatest challenge: a battle with Bloodbath that will decide the fate of the school. This plot is the stuff of most teenagers dreams-the discovery that you and your friends have superpowers. Unfortunately, the story suffers from a frustratingly slow pace and an awkward writing style that alternates between Martin's first-person narrative and letters, memos, and brief boxes of dialogue. Also, the characters lack detail and definition. Stephanie Tolan's Welcome to the Ark (Morrow, 1996) is a darker, but more satisfying tale of extrasensory abilities.-Kelly P. Kingrey, Sabine Parish Library, Many, LA (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

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more titles about

main characters Martin Anderson
Male
Age: 13
Attending an alternative school for problem students; smart-aleck; sarcastic.
Student

Torchie (Philip)
Male
Age: Teenager
Martin's roommate; firestarter.
Student

Cheater
Male
Age: Teenager
Telepath
Student

Trash
Male
Teenager
Student

Lucky
Male
Age: Teenager
Accused of being a thief.
Student

Flinch
Male
Age: Teenager
Clairvoyant
Student

Bloodbath (Lester)
Male
Gang leader; bully; violent.
Student



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