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|On thin ice|
Author: Northrop, Michael
The way twelve-year-old Ked Eakins of Norton, Maine, sees it his life has been stolen from him, piece by piece; first by kyphosis, a spinal abnormality which has made him a social outcast at school and a target for the school bully, by his friends who have recently abandoned him, by his mother who left for the West Coast taking the insurance which might have saved him with her, and by his father who is a gambling addict who has lost the rent money--but Ked is a builder, and using the school's Maker Space he intends to build his life back, and maybe make a few real friends, and save his father while he is at it.
|Accelerated Reader Information:|
Interest Level: MG
Reading Level: 4.50
Points: 8.0 Quiz: 503864
Kirkus Reviews (06/01/19)
School Library Journal (06/01/19)
The Bulletin of the Center for Children's Books (A) (00/09/19)
Full Text Reviews:
School Library Journal - 06/01/2019 Gr 4–7—Life is hard for seventh-grader Ked Easkins. First of all, he has a degenerative back condition that makes his spine curve. Because of this, he feels like he has lost his best friends Maps, Nephi, and Danny. He is endlessly harassed by a stereotypical bully character nicknamed Landrover. And if that isn't enough for a 13-year-old to endure, his father has just gambled away their rent money. Ked does not let his circumstances get him down for long. He buys the pieces of a sought-after minibike and hatches a plan to use the school's maker space to rebuild the bike in order to sell it. If this plan works, Ked and his dad won't have to move, yet again, to a more downsized place. At times, the odds seem in Ked's favor, but right when it looks like things will work out, they take a downward turn. The topic of bullying is addressed without seeming didactic, and Ked and Landrover end up in a survival situation that helps them understand and change their perspectives of each other. Eventually, Ked is able to fully come to terms with his disability to accept the friendships that have been waiting for him. VERDICT An engaging coming-of-age story; recommended for general purchase.—Jill Baetiong, Bloomingdale Public Library, IL - Copyright 2019 Publishers Weekly, Library Journal and/or School Library Journal used with permission.
Booklist - 06/01/2019 Ked, 12, has a spinal condition that gives him a hunchback. and causes classmates like hulking Landrover to bully him. Like others in his economically depressed Maine mill town, Ked is poor; his mother is gone and his father gambles away their money. Smack in the middle of a pond in their town is a tower, and during the annual thin ice days, townspeople bet on when it's going to fall. Ked's father needs to win his bet, otherwise they'll be evicted from their apartment. Meanwhile, Ked has his own plan to make a buck; it involves borrowing the rent money to repair and resell a broken-down minibike. He's counting on using the school's maker-space to repair the bike, but Landrover keeps thwarting his plans. The boys' conflict comes to a head when they find themselves in a dangerous life-or-death situation. This absorbing book realistically conveys middle-school dynamics while respectfully portraying the lives of working poor families. The relationships are complex, particularly between Ked and his father, with flawed but sympathetic characters. - Copyright 2019 Booklist.