Prove Yourself a Hero

Prove Yourself a Hero

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Jonathan knew there was nothing he could do about it. His assailants were too well prepared. All he had to do now was wait for 72 hours for his father to pay the ransom of #500,000 - or else he would be drowned. This is the story of those 72 hours and its effect on Jonathan, his parents, and the more

Product details

  • 12-17
  • Paperback | 180 pages
  • 130 x 210mm | 267g
  • Oxford University Press
  • Oxford, United Kingdom
  • New edition
  • New edition
  • 0192717766
  • 9780192717764

Review Text

K. M. Peyton is too accomplished for the good of her books. Here she has the wisdom to make the story of a kidnapping the story of kidnappee Jonathan Meredith, 16, whose guilt over his behavior in captivity makes his release more of an ordeal than his abduction. First, though, we have well-to-do Jonathan and local friend Peter, both from horsey families, stopped by a van that, reasonably, offers Jonathan a lift; the tense, inter-cut course of the kidnapping, with Jonathan confined for a time - and almost suffocated - in a small box and Peter, on horseback and carrying a half million pounds, meeting the kidnappers' emissary, also mounted, for a rainy midnight rendezvous; the reactions of, most significantly, Jonathan's no-nonsense mother, at a loss and resentful, and his unfooled younger sister: "I bet, when they get over being glad to see Jonathan, they'll be cross with him." And this is just what Jonathan, already thinking himself a coward (for choosing anaesthesia - over a chance to attract attention - for his second confinement in the box) himself suspects. His screaming nightmares cease when he leaves school to stay with Peter, grooms and races horses; and his guilt is lifted by the captors' henchman who, turning up providentially, puts a different face on his seeming cowardice. But at that point the story takes a gratuitous melodramatic turn which results in Jonathan's being shot (in an attempt to capture the henchman) and almost dying, and his mother and a smashing girl-rider standing by to console him. Peyton the ringmaster juggles scenes and characters with aplomb, supplies crackling dialogue and some bona fide deep thoughts - without, however, allowing for the wantonness, the rubbing and fraying of real life. A compulsive read that needn't have been the slick book it is. (Kirkus Reviews)show more