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Posted January 6, 2013
Posted April 18, 2011
Fast and interesting Read
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Paul Volponi creates authentic characters in Rikers High. Martin the main character is brought to life through the descriptions and interactions with other characters. Ritz, Jessup, Sanchez, Brick, and Shaky are all inmates in Rikers. These characters each play a significant role in developing the authenticity of the novel. Paul Volponi pulls from his background knowledge to create this range of characters. In addition to the inmates, Volponi does an excellent job creating a divers group of teachers and COs. I appreciate, as a teacher myself, the attention to the diverse teaching style of each of the teachers. Not everyone good, not everyone bad reflects the truth of teachers in a school.
Martin, 'Forty', is cut when he gets in the middle of an attack on another inmate. This inciting incident causes Martin to be removed from the main jail and moved to the Sprung. While at the Sprung, Martin is forced to attend school, at first reluctantly, then he began to enjoy attending classes at the jail high school. Throughout the novel, the inmates encounter various conflicts all depicting the difficulty of surviving each of them bring Martin back to his attack. Martin receives a letter from his father warning him not to fall into the traps and holes that keep inmates in prison for longer if not for life. Martin struggles with trying to avoid the traps and holes because of his conflicted desire for revenge and for freedom.
Quality of Writing:
For the most part Paul Volponi's writing is interesting, but there are weak parts in his writing. The vocabulary for instance is lacking and slightly boring. "Dudes and Herbs" were over used terms to describe other inmates. The lack of variety in word choice cause the reader to loose interest in the story, even though the plot and characters are interesting.
Book: A for Average
Cover: A for Average
Review taken from my blog: Ink Slinger's Index
Posted December 26, 2012
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