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Thirty-Six Exposures

TitleThirty-Six Exposures
Publication TypeBook
Year of Publication1984
AuthorsMajor, Kevin
PublisherDelacorte Press
CityNew York
DescriptorsDeath; English Language; Grief; History; Newfoundland and Labrador; Novel; Photographs; Photography; Poetry; Writing; Young Adult

This young adult novel, set in Newfoundland, is divided into thirty-six chapters, each representing an exposure on a roll of film. Seventeen year old Lorne likes photography and writing poetry and with a group of his classmates, he puts together an unusual project on the history of the local area, and leads a student strike over the unjust suspension of one of the group members. Meanwhile, Lorne's sexual curiosity threatens his relationship with his girlfriend, and his friend Trevor encourages him to take risks that he would never have considered alone. The story ends in tragedy, and as Lorne deals with the events of his final weeks of highschool, he comes to a better understanding of himself. Kevin Major is from Newfoundland.


Newfoundland and Labrador

Age Range


Author Profile: 

With high-school graduation approaching quickly, Lorne finds himself connecting to his world through his camera lens. Working hard on a final project for history class, Lorne and his group become deeply connected to their project and each other. Finding that he now has trouble connecting with his parents, Lorne turns to his new friends, and in the process, leads a student run protest, gets a girlfriend, and finds out a small town secret about his family. Trouble mounts when Lorne clashes with a teacher, pushes his new love interest too far, and faces conflict at home. His problems come to a head when tragedy strikes and Lorne is forced to face his future. Thirty-Six Exposures is a realistic young adult novel told in the third-person, immediate engaging. 


"Lorne and Elaine were the only people in the art room. Some noise filtered down from upstairs, a few people rushing out from after-school meetings, but, he conceded uneasily, nobody with any intention of coming down.
Intense fluorescent lights eliminated the normal basement gloom. At the rear a door led to the darkroom.
'The chemicals are all ready,' Lorne told her as casually as he could. 'I did that before you got here.' They were sitting across from each other at a small table, both of them looking sideways at a Kodak booklet on black-and-white enlarging. He concentrated on an explanation of the procedure that would take place in the darkroom. He kept it straightforward and technical. She nodded a lot and gave him the impression that she understood everything that he said.
They moved inside then and closed the door. It seemed at first that they were cast in complete darkness. He thought it may have startled her.
'You have to give your eyes time to adjust,' he said quickly.
The dull red glow from the ceiling light gradually lessened the darkness. Standing apart in silence, they discovered each other’s features. He liked the chance it gave him to look at her for what could be another reason." (25)