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Annotation: Told in their separate voices, thirteen-year-old soccer star Kevin and police sergeant Brown, who knew his father, try to keep Kevin out of juvenile hall after he is arrested on very serious charges.
Catalog Number: #48619
Format: Perma-Bound Edition from Publisher's Hardcover
All Formats: Search
Publisher: HarperCollins
Copyright Date: 2011
Edition Date: 2011
Pages: 197 pages
Availability: Available
ISBN: Publisher: 0-06-200490-5 Perma-Bound: 0-605-48761-8
ISBN 13: Publisher: 978-0-06-200490-1 Perma-Bound: 978-0-605-48761-1
Dewey: Fic
LCCN: 2010018441
Dimensions: 21 cm.
Language: English
ALA Booklist
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?
Horn Book
Myers and teen author Workman create a story told in alternating voices between a boy in trouble and the police officer investigating his case. Workman narrates the whirl of emotions of a teenager protecting a friend, dealing with his father's death, and playing for a soccer championship. Myers successfully crafts the adult perspective of the officer digging deeper for the truth.
Kirkus Reviews
The police spot a Ford Taurus with no headlights on weaving down a street, and when the officer puts his lights on, the driver of the Ford brakes, speeds up and drives into a light pole. The driver is 13-year-old Kevin Johnson, with passenger Christy McNamara, a girl his age. Officer Evans takes Christy home and Kevin to the Bedford County Juvenile Detention Center on a stolen-car rap, driving without a license, damaging city property and kidnapping—serious charges that will strike readers as blown out of proportion. Indeed, the case never really is the point of the story, nor is the back story about the abuse of illegal immigrants. It's the relationship between Kevin and Sgt. Brown, the officer asked to take the case, that's central. The story is told in the alternating voices of Kevin and the sergeant—written by veteran Myers and a 17-year-old fan he asked to write with him—a narrative structure that works well for developing the two sides of the relationship, and plenty of soccer action will keep readers interested. (Fiction. 12 & up)
School Library Journal
Gr 6&11;9&12; 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.&12; Richard Luzer, Fair Haven Union High School, VT
Reviewing Agencies: - Find Other Reviewed Titles
ALA Booklist (2/1/11)
Horn Book (8/1/11)
Kirkus Reviews
Publishers Weekly
School Library Journal (2/1/11)
Voice of Youth Advocates
Wilson's High School Catalog
Word Count: 36,699
Reading Level: 4.7
Interest Level: 9-12
Accelerated Reader: reading level: 4.7 / points: 5.0 / quiz: 142169 / grade: Middle Grades+
Reading Counts!: reading level:4.4 / points:11.0 / quiz:Q52851
Lexile: 710L

For the very first time in his decades-long career writing for teens, acclaimed and beloved author Walter Dean Myers writes with a teen, Ross Workman.

Kevin Johnson is thirteen years old. And heading for juvie. He's a good kid, a great friend, and a star striker for his Highland, New Jersey, soccer team. His team is competing for the State Cup, and he wants to prove he has more than just star-player potential. Kevin's never been in any serious trouble . . . until the night he ends up in jail. Enter Sergeant Brown, a cop assigned to be Kevin's mentor. If Kevin and Brown can learn to trust each other, they might be able to turn things around before it's too late.

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