TEEN LIBRARIAN'S REVIEW:
Lynch is the author of the summer reading staple, "Slot Machine," so some of you might already be familiar with his work. That book, besides providing an often hilarious view of the conformity of summer camp, also offered a realistic look at a very genuine friendship among three teen boys.
Similarly, at the heart of "Sins of the Fathers" is the strong and often beautiful friendship of three Catholic school thirteen year-olds in Boston. Drew, who narrates the story, is essentially a regular kid: he delivers papers in the morning, loves ice hockey, and occasionally gets in trouble at school. He is also a steady, faithful, and almost fatherly friend. Drew is regularly woken up for late night trips to the river by the nutty, manic Skitz Fitzsimmons and/or the deeply religious, somewhat violent Hector Fossas. Drew, Skitz, and Hector are a "tribe," and it's their fervent belief that if one of the tribe members falls behind, the others must take care of him.
Drew thinks of the three priests who run the Blessed Sacrament school as "the Franchise." One of the priests, who Drew calls "Father Mullarkey," is a newcomer. A huge, music-loving hippie, the Jesuit Father Mullarkey acts like more of a friend to the boys than a stern taskmaster, which clearly sets him apart from the strict and humorless Fathers "Shenanigan" and "Blarney."
As the story progresses, Skitz starts behaving in an even more bizarre fashion, and the once rock-like Hector becomes increasingly sick and distant. Drew is left to try to figure out exactly what's happening to his friends, which may or may not include sexual abuse. Can the friendly Father Mullarkey actually be trusted? Why is Father Shenanigan always at Hector's house? And, if something is going on at the school, what can Drew do about it?
This is a believable, gripping account of friendship, trust, and loyalty. The bond between Drew, Skitz, and Hector is so real that it pulls the reader right into the story. "Sins of the Fathers" is a must-read for anyone, middle school age and higher, who is looking for a memorable book on what it means to be a friend.