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Children's LiteratureAGERANGE: Ages 12 up.
Remy is an angry young man. He has just gotten back home after spending nine months in a juvenile detention facility because he assaulted a classmate who was making comments about his girlfriend. Now that he is home, he has even more to be angry about because his mother and sister treat him like dirt and his ex-girlfriend Asia has moved on to another guy. Also at the core of McClintock's novel is an homage to West Side Story; Remy and his friends, who are all white, get into a turf war with a group of immigrant teens, including Asia, who have been forced out of their old neighborhood and now want to use the local basketball court. The most surprising aspect of this book, which is a part of the "Orca Soundings" series for reluctant readers, is Remy's very real and unapologetic voice. He does not regret the initial assault that led to him getting arrested, and his actions toward the end of the novel further suggest that he has learned little about how to control his anger. The chilling conclusion of Remy's story is a heartbreaking punch to the stomach, and readers, reluctant and voracious, will easily be swept up in this fast-paced and thought-provoking tale of rage and its dire ramifications. Reviewer: Michele DeCamp