Tuesday, March 16, 2010
Response by Paul Volponi
Noah Jackson is a super senior with a baby mama to support. He knows he doesn't want to marry DeShawna, but he also knows he loves his baby girl, and he's doing his best to make sure he gives DeShawna some money every month. But the Mickey D's paycheck isn't getting it done. When one of his buddies suggests his connection with a chop shop will net Noah some serious cash, stealing a Lexus sounds like a good idea. Unfortunately, the theft is going to happen in the white part of town. A glitch in the plan means Noah and his two friends decide to put a hold on the heist, and a trip to a pizza parlor with a badly timed gesture leaves Noah with a baseball bat upside the head and his diamond stud and tennis shoes jacked.
The attack of a young black man by three Italian students lands those three young men in prison with a charge that gets a whole lot uglier when the charge of "hate crime" is the tune the prosecuting attorney is playing. And that is the charge that tears the town and Noah's school apart.
This is one of Volponi's BEST books. As usual Volponi uses the language of the street to discuss the sticky issues of racism and forgiveness. This book has some amazing characters who dispense a great deal of wisdom.
Awards: ALA Quick Pick for Reluctant Readers - 2010, VOYA Award - 2009