Heart or Mind
Heart or Mind
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Series: Unbarred   

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Annotation: In this remake of Shakespeare's Romeo and Juliet, long standing tension between African American and Somali students at Northeast High School in Minneapolis makes love difficult between Rodney, who is on probation, and Jawahir. Contains Mature Material
Catalog Number: #113304
Format: Library Binding
All Formats: Search
Special Formats: High Low High Low Adult Language Adult Language
Copyright Date: 2016
Edition Date: 2016
Pages: 113 pages
Availability: Out of Print
ISBN: 1-512-40003-3
ISBN 13: 978-1-512-40003-8
Dewey: Fic
LCCN: 2015026044
Dimensions: 20 cm.
Language: English
Reviews:
ALA Booklist
Rodney, an African American teen just returned from juvenile detention, wants no part of the food fight-turned-riot that breaks out in the high-school cafeteria. The fight is between African American and Somali students, and instead of getting involved, he chooses to protect a Somali girl from harm, even though he still gets beaten up. Her name is Jawahir, and Rodney is in love. Thus begins Jones' high/low take on Romeo and Juliet, complete with the tragic ending, although the other deaths that occur in Shakespeare's play are depicted here as serious injuries. The title is part of the Unbarred series, with each title based on a Shakespeare play and set in modern times. The present-tense, plot-driven narrative is compelling, although some of the elements seem forced to fit. Characterization, while evident, does take a back seat, but there is enough to make at least the main characters stand out. While it is written with the high/low reader in mind, this will likely have appeal for readers at any reading level.
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ALA Booklist (4/1/16)
Word Count: 15,361
Reading Level: 4.7
Interest Level: 7-12
Accelerated Reader: reading level: 4.7 / points: 2.0 / quiz: 180624 / grade: Middle Grades+
Reading Counts!: reading level:4.5 / points:6.0 / quiz:Q69196
Lexile: 740L
Guided Reading Level: M
Fountas & Pinnell: M

Do the crime, do the time behind bars. But once you've been in, it can be tough to stay out. Tension between African Americans and Somalis at Rodney's high school erupts into a food fight that turns into a riot. In the midst of the violence, Rodney helps a Somali classmate to safety. Soon Rodney and Jawahir fall for each other. Against the pleas of their families and friends, they can't help but follow their hearts. As groups on both sides of the fight harbor lingering resentment, Rodney and Jawahir are caught in the middle. Rodney is determined to avoid trouble, having served a previous stint at the County Home School. But in a world where hate seems to rule, can Rodney and Jawahir keep their flame of love alive? Or will their relationship ignite a fire that destroys all in its path? This modern twist on Shakespeare's Romeo and Juliet explores the themes of love vs. loyalty and societal clashes.


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