|Year of Publication||2011|
|Descriptors||Family; Halifax; Military; Parents|
Set in Halifax, B Negative tells the story of Paddy, a recent high school graduate who decides to join the army as a way to assert himself against Anthony, his annoying stepfather. Paddy’s biological father, John Armstrong, is a retired naval officer. Paddy’s stubborn determination to enlist alienates him from his mother, his friends, and his girlfriend, Tara. Psychological difficulties really begin, however, when Paddy’s physical exam reveals his blood type to be B negative, not the type of either his mother or his supposed father. B Negative is a short novel ideal for teens who are reluctant readers. Themes include family loyalty and self identity.
He’s been out of the Navy since I was twelve, but you’d never know it to look at him. Dad still keeps his hair short and walks like he’s in a parade. He’s always telling me to stand up straight, because it makes you look taller. He might need the extra inches – he’s maybe five foot seven – but I don’t. I tower over the guy.
He shakes my hand and we take a booth in the front with a good view of the street.
“I was wondering when you were going to get around to telling me,” he says. He puts his wallet on the table beside his coffee cup. “Your mother mentioned you’ve made some plans.”
I thought he’d look happier than he does.
“Yeah,” I say.
“The Army,” he says.
“Yeah.” I laugh. I get it. “I guess you would have preferred the Navy.”