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ARC Review: Kick


Author: Walter Dean Myers and Ross Workman
Genre: Young Adult, Fiction, Middle Grade
Release: February, 2011
Source: Netgalley
Rating: 4/5

Description: For the very first time in his decades-long career writing for teens, acclaimed and beloved author Walter Dean Myers writes with a teen, Ross Workman.

Kevin Johnson is thirteen years old. And heading for juvie. He's a good kid, a great friend, and a star striker for his Highland, New Jersey, soccer team. His team is competing for the State Cup, and he wants to prove he has more than just star-player potential. Kevin's never been in any serious trouble . . . until the night he ends up in jail. Enter Sergeant Brown, a cop assigned to be Kevin's mentor. If Kevin and Brown can learn to trust each other, they might be able to turn things around before it's too late.

Review: Okay, so how cool is it that high school student, Ross Workman, got a chance to write with Walter Dean Myers? He emailed Myers and Myers replied with an invitation to write a story together. I mean, seriously. So. Cool.

And I loved the story they came up with. Kick follows 13 year-old, Kevin Johnson, who gets caught driving a car that belongs to his friend's father. He faces serious charges, but he gets a second chance. Because he is a child of a fallen officer, he's paired with Officer Jerry Brown. The book alternates between Kevin and Officer Brown's point of view. We find that there's more to what happened the night Kevin was caught.

WHAT I DIDN'T LIKE

  • The book is so short...less than 100 pages long.

  • The issue of domestic violence isn't resolved. The wife of one of the characters is severly depressed. Not knowing what to do, he tries to beat it out of her. Eventually, she gets help, but he doesn't.

WHAT I LIKED

  • Kevin's character. He's seen in a positive light despite the mistake he made (remember there's more to the story).

  • I love the sports subplot. While all of this is happening, Kevin and his soccer team is trying to get to the State Cup.

  • Kevin's growth from the beginning to the end.

  • The fact that Myers teamed up with one of his fans to write a story. Again, how awesome is that?

Despite the fact that the story is short, I truly enjoyed it. The character is 13, which puts the book more at a middle grade level, but the issues are more young adult. The short length may very well work with a generation of kids with short attention spans. And this is definitely a book guys can enjoy.

 

2 comments:

Karen Strong said...

I've heard a lot about this book. I think it's cool that the author worked with an actual teen.

Rae said...

It's so cool that Mr. Myers worked with this teen. And how cool for the teen...an experience he'll probably never forget.