Tribes by Arthur SladeTribes by Arthur Slade


byArthur Slade

Mass Market Paperback | January 26, 2004

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Let me explain. Numerous tribes exist in friction at our school. The Logo Tribe exhibit name brands wherever and whenever possible. The Digerati Tribe worship bytes and silicon chips. The Lipstick/Hair Spray Tribe perform elaborate appearance alterations to attract mates. The ‘Gee-The-Seventies-Were-Great-Even-Though-I-Wasn’t-Born-Yet’ Tribe have predictable backwards habits. The Hockey Tribe subdivides into Oilers, Canadiens, Rangers and other assorted clans.

And finally there’s us, the quasi-omniscient Observers.

Percy Montmount, Jr., along with his best friend Elissa, have dubbed themselves the Observers of their grade 12 graduating class at Saskatoon’s Groverly High. Ever since the death of his father – a renowned anthropologist whom Percy believes died in the Congo from a bite of a tsetse fly -- Percy has mysteriously taken on his dad’s eyes, and his occupation, to examine the often inexplicable and ritualistic behaviors of his peers. Armed with his field study notebook, Percy tries to remain detached from his subjects, including Justin, an Alpha Male bully from the Jock Tribe, and Marcia Grady, a beautiful member of the Lipstick/Hairspray Tribe and various other sects: the Teacher tribe; the Born Again tribe; the Cool and Detached tribe; not to mention Mr. Verplaz, the Shaman.

For Percy it’s crucial to withdraw, analyze, and remain coolly above it all. But he’s studying real people, who complicate things. Like Elissa, the only person who can come close to him, maybe too close and his no longer not-so-scientific interest in her (or her webbed foot) is battling his desperate need not to feel any emotion. As graduation approaches, the looming ritual ratchets up Percy’s deepest, hidden feelings and reveals the truth about his father’s disappearance.

Tribes is marked by caustic humour and wry overtones but it is also layered with a subtle and poignant sensitivity about the often unquantifiable condition of adolescence. With a surprise ending and a hero whose offbeat behavior belies his all-too-human feelings of love, pain and adolescent angst, Tribes is a rare breed – a young adult novel that speaks a language that teens understand. Ages 13 and up.
Arthur Slade is the author of Northern Frights, a series of young adult novels based on old Icelandic folktales that includes Draugr, The Haunting of Drang Island and The Loki Wolf (Orca Books). Draugr was nominated for a Saskatchewan Book Award for Children’s Literature and a Small Press Book Award in the US. He also writes comic book...
Title:TribesFormat:Mass Market PaperbackDimensions:180 pages, 7.5 × 4.2 × 0.38 inPublished:January 26, 2004Publisher:HarperCollinsLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0006391699

ISBN - 13:9780006391692

Appropriate for ages: 13 - 17

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Rated 5 out of 5 by from Great Insight Arthur Slade is one of my favorite children's/teen authors. His books are imaginative, unique and always a great read. I read my first Slade book when Dust won the Governor General's Literary Award back in 2001. I loved it so much I picked up this one, and was not disappointed. This is the story of Percy Montmount Jr. and his friend Elissa who are in their final year of high school. Percy, whose father was an anthropologist, examines the social environment of high school through the eyes and methods of an anthropologist. The names of the tribes, and the social commentary associated with them, is hilarious. Some of the tribes are: The Busybody Tribe The Logo Tribe - exists to only wear name brands. The Digerati Tribe - Worships bytes and silicon Chips. The Lipstick/Hairspray Tribe The Gee-The-Seventies-Were-Great-Even-Though-I Wasn't-Born-Yet Tribe The Hockey Tribe - Subdivided into Canadians, Oilers, Rangers and 32 sub clans. The Jesus Freaks The Madonna Tribe (But in decline and near extinct) Join Percy and Elissa as they navigate their senior year, and as Percy must come to grips with his own anthropological reality. This is a great fun and very enjoyable read.
Date published: 2008-12-27
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Wicked awesome book by a great canadian author I read this book because my LA teacher suggested it to me. After getting it I read it almost non-stop for 2 days. I thought he main character, Percy, is probably not the kind of guy I would want to hang around because he's quite twisted. He manages to turn everything into a scientific discovery and writes the book as if he were in the jungle, studying tribes of animals. Overall, I would give Tribes 4-4 1/2 out of 5 because it was awesome, but I wouldn't reccomend it to anyone younger than about 12 because there is some naughty parts in it.
Date published: 2005-01-23