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
Downby Norah McClintock
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Remy has just been released from juvenile detention and is back in his old neighborhood. He went away because he severely assaulted a guy who insulted his girlfriend, Asia. As a white boy dating an immigrant, Remy has had to withstand a lot of the racism that exists in the inner-city—from strangers, his family and even the police. When the white kids and the “outsiders” start scrapping over the local basketball court, Remy is caught between sticking up for his friends and siding with Asia.
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When James and the rest of them talk about the other guys, their faces get all twisted so that they don't even look like themselves. I wonder if I looked like that when I beat up that guy. I sure was mad enough.
Meet the Author
Norah McClintock's fascinating mysteries are hard to put down. She is a five-time winner of the Crime Writers of Canada's Arthur Ellis Award for Best Juvenile Crime Novel. Although Norah is a freelance editor, she still manages to write at least one novel a year. Norah grew up in Montreal, Quebec, and now lives with her family in Toronto, Ontario. This is her eleventh book with Orca.
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After being locked away, for causing a guy to end up in the hospital in critical condition, Remy is finally released back into his old world.
Remy thought that it was bad where he was sent, but being back home is much worse. Especially since the girl that he loved has now moved on, and his mom and sister look at him more like a criminal than a son or brother.
Now that he's out, though, Remy wants to turn his life around. He doesn't want to go back where he was, and he can't control how his family is around him, but he does take one step forward by getting a steady job. Unfortunately, Remy takes two steps back when he continues to hang out with his old friends, who create enemies out of the new people who had just moved to their school -- the people who are different than them.
Before he knows it, Remy is swept back into the world that he wanted to forget. And issues of prejudice arise as two sides are unable to find common ground. He knows that if he gets involved everything will get worse, but Remy just doesn't know if he can control it.
Powerful and insightful, DOWN creates a plot out of an issue that we all thought was over but, unfortunately, is still in the air.