A love story about the struggles of a teenage couple with a baby. Set in an unnamed urban environment, rife with poverty and petty crime, this is the story of Brian Tangello and Crystal O'Leary. Over six feet tall and thin as a rake, Tango is one of life's losers - only his grannie and his friends Melons, Jackie Coney and Chris, the story's ...
A love story about the struggles of a teenage couple with a baby. Set in an unnamed urban environment, rife with poverty and petty crime, this is the story of Brian Tangello and Crystal O'Leary. Over six feet tall and thin as a rake, Tango is one of life's losers - only his grannie and his friends Melons, Jackie Coney and Chris, the story's narrator, think much of him. The Goody Club certainly doesn't; that's Myrtle, Madonna and the girl Tango fancies, Crystal O'Leary. Two years younger than the others, Crystal is still at school the day Tango finds her by the canal, crying for her dead dad. In his own awkward way, Tango offers her comfort and an unlikely love affair ensues. A short while later, Crystal is pregnant and the real story of Tango's baby begins. By turns tragic and farcical, it's a story in which many claim a part - social services, police, religious zealots, relations, friends but few give real assistance to Tango in his desperate attempts to keep his new family together. Martin Waddell was the winner of the Smarties Prize for "Farmer Duck" and "Can't You Sleep, Little Bear?" and he also won the 1989 Kurt Maschler Award for "The Park in the Dark" and the 1990 Best Book For Babies Award for "Rosie's Babies". He also writes under the pseudonym Catherine Sefton, including "Beat of the Drum", "Frankie's Story" and "Starry Night", which won the 1986 Other Award. This title was also shortlisted for the Guardian Children's Fiction Award, as was "Along a Lonely Road" (also shortlisted for the 1992 Smarties Book Prize).
Publishers Weekly, 1995-10-30 Though he's often on the wrong side of the law, Tango, the ``no-hoper'' British teenager at the center of Waddell's (Can't You Sleep, Little Bear?) ponderous novel, is clearly not a bad boy. He is devoted to his invalid grandmother and to 15-year-old Crystal. When Tango comforts her after her father's death, a relationship develops rather quickly and soon Crystal is pregnant. Worked into the tale of Tango's intense, ultimately destructive love for the girl and their child are a handful of realistic if largely depressing characters, including Crystal's violent, alcoholic brother and her disheartened mother, all of them conversant in the ways of the British welfare system. Told from the perspective of a former schoolmate of Tango, the narrative collects bits of conjecture and recollections from several other friends of the couple and from Crystal. The result is an oddly distant, choppy story that-with its blunt material and abundant British colloquialisms-is more suitable for adults than for the targeted audience. Ages 14-17. (Oct.)
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