As someone who was a teenager during the late 1980s, and fully remembers the hysteria surrounding AIDs, this book brought back many memories – not all of them good. It’s an excellent and authentic tale. However, it portrays teenagers doing things that most parents would prefer their children refrain from considering, much less actually doing. I highly recommend this novel to fellow cold-war era survivors, but I’m not certain I would feel comfortable handing it over to a teenager.
On the other hand, when I was a late-80s teen, teachers and other adults handed me novels like The Scarlet Letter, The Lord of the Flies, Watership Down and a handful of Russian novels that I strongly suspect I understood better than my instructors – particularly when it came to the methods of survival utilized by primary characters. Perhaps I am overly cautious.
“I figured that on the day you died, the tunnel would be so narrow, you’d have squeezed yourself in with so many choices, that you just got squashed...I thought about Finn. How he did whatever he wanted. Just like my mother said. He never let the tunnel squash him. But still, there he was. In the end he was still crushed to death by his own choices. Maybe what Toby said was right. Maybe you had to be dying to finally get to do what you wanted.”
“I used to think maybe I wanted to become a falconer, and now I’m sure of it, because I need to figure out the secret. I need to work out how to keep things flying back to me instead of always flying away.”
–Tell the Wolves I’m Home