Cover image for One thing for sure
One thing for sure
Gifaldi, David.
Personal Author:
Publication Information:
New York : Clarion Books, [1986]

Physical Description:
172 pages ; 22 cm
Twelve-year-old Dylan can't bring himself to forgive his father who is serving time in an Oregon prison for illegally cutting timber.
Program Information:
Accelerated Reader AR UG 4.2 6.0 777.

Reading Counts RC 6-8 5.5 7 Quiz: 08685 Guided reading level: NR.
Format :

On Order



Twelve-year-old Dylan can't bring himself to forgive his father who is serving time in an Oregon prison for illegally cutting timber.

Reviews 3

Booklist Review

Gr. 5-7. Dylan deeply resents his father for breaking the law and ending up in jail and secretly harbors a fear that he might follow in his father's footsteps. He and his mother live in a small town, which compounds his problem, for it seems that everyone knows Dylan's circumstances and won't let him forget his father's actions. The boys he palled around with have become his enemies; their leader, Max, delights in harassing Dylan. The one bright spot in his life is a new friendship with a strong-minded girl named Amy, who is living with her grandparents. Dylan and Amy enjoy each other's company, and Amy bolsters Dylan's confidence in himself and in his struggles against his ex-friends. With her help he manages a nonviolent revengeful prank that forces Max and his pals to admit their wrongdoings. Not only is Dylan's name cleared from a tire-slashing incident, but he begins to garner respect as well. Gifaldi's story is weakened by some overdrawn characterizations and predictable plot developments. However, the relationship between Dylan and Amy is well drawn, and Dylan's progress in getting to know himself and forgive his father will win readers' sympathies. A viable problem novel that will have particular appeal for boys. DMW. Fathers and sons Fiction / Prisoners Fiction [CIP] 86-2677

Publisher's Weekly Review

Twelve-year-old Dylan is deeply shocked and disillusioned when his father is arrested for stealing timber. Suddenly he must contend with the bullying of former pals and the suspicions of others in his small town that he, too, might be a thief. Then Dylan becomes friendly with Amy, a creative, funny girl who holds nothing against him. Through their friendship, this appealing first novel shows its mettle, wisely hinting at more than it says about males and females and different ways of settling scores. Gifaldi has great flair for figurative language, using it to show how Dylan sees and recreates his troubling world. Although the device is perhaps a bit overused, it helps to produce a fresh, sympathetic portrait of an original character. (9-12) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved

School Library Journal Review

Gr 5-8 When 12-year-old Dylan Robertson meets Amy, who is visiting her grandparents for the summer, he is deep in a funk. His former friends, led by a bully named Max, have ostracized him because Dylan's father is serving time in prison. And, although Dylan publicly defends his father, inside he feels increasing anger and shame toward him and is unable to visit him in prison. Spirited and supportive, Amy quickly becomes his best friend and helps him absorb the harrassment from Max and company. However, when Max and his friends cut the tires of a trail bike that Dylan and Amy have rented, and Dylan has to pay for the damage, his patience is sorely tried. Finally, with Amy's help, Dylan comes up with a scheme to blackmail Max and get him to confess to his crime. Then, buoyed by his success, Dylan finally meets his father in jail and they come to a mutual understanding. Unfortunately, the upbeat spirit of the story and its comic overtones are overshadowed by the didactic triteness of the plot, stilted and cliched dialogue, and predictable characters. Readers of this first novel will find the heroes, villains, and messages all in their proper place, but will find little else to satisfy them. Jack Forman, Mesa College, San Diego (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.