Boys attending an Arizona camp decide to save a herd of buffalo.--This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
The book is typical, misfits and bedwetters, go to camp, get picked on, see Buffalo slaughtered, sneak out, try to let them go, then of course since the author wants to make SURE that we understand the viewpoint that Group A is bad and Group B is good, has one of the children shot while trying to free the buffalo. Yeah, thats worth skipping class for.
Buy this book if you want to become a misfit bedwetting animal activist.
The story concerns a group of misfit boys who have been dumped into a summer camp by largely unconcerned parents and who find themselves ostracized and reviled by both camp instructors and the other boys. Constantly berrated and harrassed, they are designated "The Bedwetters" and are relegated to the fringe of camp activities. During a field trip, the boys are taken to see a corralled herd of buffalo--and are horrified when the buffalo are slaughtered before them. They resolve to escape the camp overnight, return to the corral, and free the remaining buffalo before they too can be killed. As the story of their trip unfolds, the novel flashes back to revel the background of each of boy and describes how they evolved into the personalities they have become--and in a real sense, the adventure they undertake ultimately validates the worth of each, as the differences that the status quo perceives as weakness actually becomes the strengths that motivate and aid them on their journey. But their determination to free the buffalo will come at a terrific price, a higher price than any of them can imagine.
As literature per se, the novel has several weaknesses. The actual story feels contrived, the symbolism is heavy handed to say the least, the shifts into flashback are a bit awkward, and the author never really achieves a good flow or a distinctive tone of voice. But even so, the book still speaks with remarkable power about the dangers of equating "being different" with "being undesirable" and of a society that has little use for anything outside the most pragmatic boundaries. It is most likely to appeal to teenagers and young adults, but more mature readers will find much food for thought within it as well. Recommended with the stated reservations.