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Response
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Response
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Noah and his friends go to a predominantly all-white neighborhood with a plan: steal a car, sell it to a chop shop, and make some fast cash. But that never happens. Instead, Noah, a teen father, becomes the victim of a vicious beating that leaves him with a fractured skull. The question is, was the attacker protecting his turf, or did he target Noah just because he's black?
Noah and his friends go to a predominantly all-white neighborhood with a plan: steal a car, sell it to a chop shop, and make some fast cash. But that never happens. Instead, Noah, a teen father, becomes the victim of a vicious beating that leaves him with a fractured skull. The question is, was the attacker protecting his turf, or did he target Noah just because he's black?
Available formats-
  • OverDrive Read
Languages:-
Copies-
  • Available:
    1
  • Library copies:
    1
Levels-
  • ATOS:
    5.4
  • Lexile:
    880
  • Interest Level:
    MG+
  • Text Difficulty:
    4 - 5

Recommended for you

Reviews-
  • School Library Journal

    March 1, 2009
    Gr 6-10-Seventeen-year-old Noah and his two buddies go to an Italian-American neighborhood, intent on stealing a car to sell for parts. Instead, some thugs target the African-American teens and beat Noah's head in with a baseball bat. The unrepentant bat wielder, Charlie Scaturro, and his cohorts are charged with a hate crime. His cousin Spenelli confesses and the third boy, the son of a police officer, testifies to avoid prosecution. At Noah's mostly black school, white kids wear "Free Spenelli" T-shirts and the gym teacher is a vicious, obvious bigot. All of the basher's Italian-American friends and family are unabashedly racist. Volponi presents Noah's life as a student, son, and teen father simply though not simplistically. The dialogue between the protagonist and his buddies and family is occasionally precious, but mostly natural. Volponi interjects film-script dialogue of events in prison, and in Charlie's head. Though these episodes highlight Charlie's narcissism, they detract from the (mildly) suspenseful mood and slow the pace of the narrative. The racism in this town is so vicious and public, so over-the-top that it's hard to see the white, mostly Italian Americans as anything but caricatures. Though it's certainly easy to believe the events of this story, Volponi's portrayal is never wholly convincing.Johanna Lewis, New York Public Library

    Copyright 2009 School Library Journal, LLC Used with permission.

  • Library Journal

    June 22, 2009
    Overwhelmed as a teen dad, 17-year-old Noah goes with his boys to steal a car to make some fast money. Instead, he is brutally beaten up with a bat by three white teens. The trio is suspected of targeting Noah because of his race, and thus, they are charged with a hate crime. The incident and the pending trial stir up controversy at the boys' school. Amidst the many conversations, we see the varying levels of trust and mistrust that threaten the racial climate of an integrated community.-Vanessa Morris, The iSchool at Drexel University, Philadelphia

    Copyright 2009 Library Journal, LLC Used with permission.

  • Booklist

    November 15, 2008
    Grades 6-9 All Id really ever done with my life is get a girl pregnant, and made the news for thinking about swiping a car and getting my ass whipped with a baseball bat. So says 17-year-old Noah Jackson, ruminating on his existence after being viciously pummeled by three Italian American kids. Because the attack seems to be based on Noahs skin color, it is being prosecuted as a hate crime, and suddenly Noah finds himself a local celebrity.Fame isless fun than it soundskids start wearing Free Spenelli (the name of one of the jailed attackers) T-shirts to school, the media is pressing him for statements about white people, and his attorneys are making him nervous about the trial.Writing in an authentic voice, Volponi balances sensitivity and rage, but his most subtle achievement is the multi-generational family drama. When Noah suddenly feels the promise of his future at the exact moment he stands at his go-nowhere fry cook job, it gives us hope that he will pass on his hard lessons to his own child.(Reprinted with permission of Booklist, copyright 2008, American Library Association.)

Title Information+
  • Publisher
    Penguin Young Readers Group
  • OverDrive Read
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