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A Boy Called Twister (Urban Underground Series)

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Overview

Themes: Hi-Lo, High school, neighborhoods, family, loyalty, friendship, urban teen fiction, orphan, loner, anger, secrets, sports. Written for young adults, the Urban Underground series confronts issues that are of great importance to teens, such as friendship, loyalty, drugs, gangs, abuse, urban blight, bullies, and self-esteem to name a few. More than entertainment, these books can be a powerful learning and coping tool when a struggling reader connects with credible characters and a compelling storyline. The ...

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Overview

Themes: Hi-Lo, High school, neighborhoods, family, loyalty, friendship, urban teen fiction, orphan, loner, anger, secrets, sports. Written for young adults, the Urban Underground series confronts issues that are of great importance to teens, such as friendship, loyalty, drugs, gangs, abuse, urban blight, bullies, and self-esteem to name a few. More than entertainment, these books can be a powerful learning and coping tool when a struggling reader connects with credible characters and a compelling storyline. The highly readable style and mature topics will appeal to young adult readers of both sexes and encourage them to finish each novel. Harriet Tubman HS Series— Kevin Walker will be a loner at Tubman High- he doesn't want anyone asking too many questions about his move from Texas. His terrible secret could destroy any chance of remaining anonymous. Running like the wind helps him forget his troubles, but his star turn on the track team brings a lot of attention.

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Editorial Reviews

VOYA - Cynthia Winfield
Kevin Walker—a shy, studious, athletic junior—is new to Tubman High, having moved to California midyear to live with his maternal grandparents. Allowing peers to believe his mother sent him from Texas to attend a better school, Kevin hides the truth that his mother recently died from cancer and his father died years ago in a prison riot—a convicted murderer. Saddled with his father's volatile temper, a deep dislike for bullies, and family secrets, Kevin plans to remain aloof through his final years of high school; however, friendly Alonee Lennox soon pulls him into a group of caring peers, and Kevin forms friendships. When Kevin, as fleet-of-foot as a Texas twister, excels on the track, he is surprised to be rewarded with lovely Carissa's adoration. Engaging and complex, A Boy Called Twister addresses sportsmanship, trust, self-control, friendship, and family. Peopled with some stock characters—a bully and his entourage, an ineffectual older teacher biding time until retirement, the fair-minded track coach, and the rest of the Tubman High crowd—Schraff's novel effectively introduces the characters of the Urban Underground series, ten Hi-Lo novels by Schraff set in contemporary America featuring students of color, designed to tackle "mature" topics in under two hundred pages at a reading level not exceeding 3.5. Immediate, relevant, and sure to engage reluctant readers, similar to Townsend Press's wildly successful Bluford High series that includes Schraff titles, the Urban Underground series will warrant a 5P among reluctant readers. Reviewer: Cynthia Winfield
School Library Journal
Gr 8 Up—Kevin Walker has a secret, and he hopes it will stay hidden when he moves to California from small-town Spurville in Texas. Still grieving from his mother's recent death, Kevin just wants to be left alone to begin a new life with his grandparents. He tries to maintain a low profile but his kindness to other students and his natural charm and talent make him a standout in class and on the track field. Unknowingly, the teen outshines Marko Lane, the school bully, and attracts his attention. When Kevin confides in his girlfriend, his closely guarded secret gets out. Marko uses this information to attempt to force him into fearful submission, but he decides instead to confess his past to his new friends. With Marko's power diminished, Kevin gets the girl, the grades, and the glory of earning Tubman High's Arthur Ashe Athletic and Leadership Trophy. The predictable confrontation between Kevin and the bully resolves itself somewhat unusually, but the dialogue doesn't feel authentic. However, teens familiar with Schraff's writing from the "Bluford" series (Scholastic) will still accept Kevin's plight.—H. H. Henderson, Heritage Middle School, Deltona, FL
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781606866696
  • Publisher: Saddleback Pub
  • Publication date: 2/29/2000
  • Series: Urban Underground Series
  • Pages: 180
  • Age range: 12 - 17 Years
  • Product dimensions: 4.30 (w) x 7.00 (h) x 0.60 (d)

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    Posted October 13, 2011

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