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Author: Myers, Walter Dean
Told in their separate voices, soccer star Kevin and police sergeant Brown, who knew his father, try to keep Kevin out of juvenile hall after his arrest.
|Accelerated Reader Information:|
Interest Level: MG+
Reading Level: 4.70
Points: 5.0 Quiz: 142169
|Reading Counts Information:|
Interest Level: 6-8
Reading Level: 4.40
Points: 11.0 Quiz: 52851
Common Core Standards
Grade 8 → Reading → RL Literature → 8.RL Key Ideas & Details
Grade 7 → Reading → CCR College and Career Readiness Anchor Standards for Reading
Grade 8 → Reading → RL Literature → 8.RL Craft & Structure
Grade 8 → Reading → CCR College and Career Readiness Anchor Standards for Reading
Kirkus Reviews (12/15/10)
School Library Journal (02/01/11)
The Bulletin of the Center for Children's Books (03/11)
Full Text Reviews:
Booklist - 02/01/2011 On September 3, 2007, acclaimed YA author Myers received a fan e-mail from a young New Jersey teen named Ross Workman. Two hours later, Myers extended a remarkable invitation: “Okay, let’s make a story.” Amazingly, they did. And here’s the result, the story of a 13-year-old boy named Kevin in trouble with the law. Because he is the son of a fallen policeman, the judge in the case asks a veteran police officer, Sergeant Brown, to investigate. Told in alternating chapters by the coauthors, the book features a dramatic subplot about Kevin’s soccer team’s participation in an important tournament. Workman is a genuine talent, writing short, declarative sentences that move the narrative forward with assurance and a page-turning tempo. Myers, of course, is a master, and it’s fascinating to see him writing from the first-person perspective of an adult. The respective voices and characters play off each other as successfully as a winning, high-stakes soccer match. How about another collaboration? - Copyright 2011 Booklist.
Bulletin for the Center... - 03/01/2011 Kevin Johnson, avid soccer player and son of a slain police officer, could be facing charges of auto theft, kidnapping, and destruction of property after a car crash in which he was the underage driver. Christy McNamara, who was in the car with him, is keeping mum, and Mr. McNamara, owner of the car, seems uncertain whether to press charges. For now Kevin is in his mother’s custody and under the informal guardianship of Sgt. Jerry Brown, an officer who specializes in keeping troubled youth on the right side of the law. This case isn’t going to be easy, because Kevin won’t talk about what happened the night of the crash, he has a temper that explodes on the soccer field, and he launches his own rogue investigation into Mr. McNamara’s possible involvement in the exploitation of undocumented workers. Much is made here of Myers’ collaboration with Workman, a seventeen-year-old fan and aspiring writer who made contact with Myers several years ago. Certainly teens hoping for a career as an author will be interested in the excerpts from Myers and Workman’s email exchange that open the book and shed light on the way the two writers shaped their alternating narrations into the completed work. What’s far more impressive, though, is how quickly readers will forget the novelty of the collaboration and settle into the story itself, an involving blend of mystery and sports, ably delivered in two convincing voices. EB - Copyright 2011 The Board of Trustees of the University of Illinois.
School Library Journal - 02/01/2011 Gr 6–9—In an interesting joint effort, Myers teamed with high school student Workman to produce this novel about a soccer player who runs into trouble helping a friend. Veteran police sergeant Jerry Brown is asked to look into the case of a 13-year-old boy who crashed a car belonging to his friend's father. Brown takes a special interest in the case when he is informed that the boy, Kevin Johnson, is the son of an officer who was killed in the line of duty. As Brown delves more deeply, he begins to suspect that the friend's family has something to hide. He also develops a bond with Kevin, who, although angry and troubled, is basically kindhearted and well-intentioned. Workman wrote the chapters narrated by the boy, and Myers wrote those narrated by Brown. This approach works quite well in terms of narrative voice, as Myers's more polished style reflects an adult perspective, while Workman's less-refined prose seems appropriate to his character's outlook and experience. There is some exciting soccer action, and the interaction between Brown and Kevin is heartwarming, yet natural and unforced. While some may feel that the denouement falls a little flat, the novel should have wide appeal to soccer fans, aspiring writers, and boys from difficult family circumstances who are trying to figure out how to make their way in the world.—Richard Luzer, Fair Haven Union High School, VT - Copyright 2011 Publishers Weekly, Library Journal and/or School Library Journal used with permission.