Wheels ISBN: 9780141314723
MacPhail, Catherine
Published by Puffin, 2003
Although this is a thriller, the main character in the story is James, wheelchair bound because of a car accident in which his dad died. James' bitterness and difficult behaviour is all too understandable, and his mum has tried too hard and been over-protective. He is told that the young driver who caused the accident was killed as well, but when he sees a man in the hospital, he recognises him as the one who was behind the wheel in the other car. When he meets the dead boy's sister, Kirsty, he convinces her that her brother had not been driving, and together they set out to prove it. Woven through this exciting novel are the threads of James' feelings about his disability - his anger, his reactions to friends and his mother, and his gradual acceptance, mainly due to Kirsty's feisty treatment of him as just another friend. A good read. The young teenage characterization (they are 13) is particularly good.
Age: 11+