Juvie

( 5 )

Overview

Sadie Windas has always been the responsible one — she’s the star player on her AAU basketball team, gets good grades, dates a cute soccer player, and helps out at home. Not like her older sister, Carla, who hangs out with druggies and leaves her three-year-old daughter, Lulu, with Aunt Sadie while she parties and gets high.

But when Sadie and Carla are caught up in a drug deal — wrong place, wrong time — it falls to Sadie to clean up the mess, confessing to a crime she didn’t ...

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Juvie

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Overview

Sadie Windas has always been the responsible one — she’s the star player on her AAU basketball team, gets good grades, dates a cute soccer player, and helps out at home. Not like her older sister, Carla, who hangs out with druggies and leaves her three-year-old daughter, Lulu, with Aunt Sadie while she parties and gets high.

But when Sadie and Carla are caught up in a drug deal — wrong place, wrong time — it falls to Sadie to clean up the mess, confessing to a crime she didn’t commit to keep Carla out of jail and Lulu out of foster care. She’s supposed to get off with a slap on the wrist. Instead, she’s sentenced to six months in juvie.

As life as Sadie knew it disappears beyond the bars of her cell, her anger — at her ex-boyfriend, at Carla, and at herself — fills the empty space left behind. Can Sadie forgive Carla for getting her mixed up in this mess? Can Carla straighten herself out and create a better life for Lulu — and for all of them?

Heart-wrenching and real, Juvie is the story of two sisters grappling with sacrifice, accountability — and who’ll be there to help you up after you take the fall.

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Editorial Reviews

School Library Journal - Audio
01/01/2014
Gr 9 Up—Sadie, the sensible one, didn't want to go to the party. She wasn't into drinking, and she had a bad feeling when two skuzzy boys asked for a ride. Despite her misgivings, Sadie is in the driver's seat when an undercover cop appears. Carla is already on probation, and everyone assures Sadie she'll just get a slap on the wrist if she takes the fall. Things go wrong in court, however, and Sadie winds up sentenced to six months in the juvenile detention center, where she meets a rich cast of inmates, including Good Gina, Bad Gina, Chantrelle, and the Jelly Sisters. The characters are realistic, from Sadie's boyfriend to C. Miller, a female guard who shares Sadie's love of basketball. The chapters alternate between a timeline that moves from the party towards the court date, and one the progresses from Sadie's first body-cavity search to her third month in juvie. Whitney Dykhouse's slightly husky voice works well for Sadie. She isn't as convincing voicing the male characters, particularly the prison guards. Since most of this well-written and surprisingly humorous story (Candlewick, 2013) deals with young women, it doesn't distract from the ultimately hopeful story. Sadie is a strong protagonist and listeners will root for her as she serves her time.—Maggie Knapp, Trinity Valley School, Fort Worth, TX
Publishers Weekly
★ 09/09/2013
Watkins (What Comes After) offers a frank view of life in a juvenile detention center as he explores the inner strife of an inmate suffering the consequences of a crime she didn’t commit. Being at the wrong party at the wrong time leads to a six-month stint in juvie for 17-year-old Sadie Windas while her older sister, who should have gone to jail, gets off scot-free. Simmering with resentment, Sadie worries she may have paid too high a price for her sister’s sake. A reflective first-person narrative alternately expresses Sadie’s traumas in lockup—bullying, brawls, and lies—and her past ordeals, including her dismissal from the basketball team, breakup with a boyfriend, and desperate attempts to keep her dysfunctional family glued together. Little by little, a multi-dimensional portrait of Sadie emerges, exposing her vulnerabilities and struggles with the mistakes she’s made (“Maybe not being guilty wasn’t the same as being innocent,” she concludes). Sadie’s emotional journey, impacted by her profound discoveries about fellow inmates and her growing friendship with a kindly guard, is absorbing and wrenching. Ages 14–up. Agent: Kelly Sonnack, Andrea Brown Literary Agency. (Oct.)
From the Publisher
In the midst of the terrible reality, realistically tiny glimmers of hope shine like candles fighting the darkness. A bleakly optimistic reminder to hold on to what is good.
—Kirkus Reviews (starred review)

Watkins offers a frank view of life in a juvenile detention center... Little by little, a multi-dimensional portrait of Sadie emerges, exposing her vulnerabilities and struggles with the mistakes she’s made... [A]bsorbing and wrenching.
—Publishers Weekly (starred review)

VOYA - Suanne B. Roush
Sadie is a good student and star basketball player. She stays out of trouble so she can qualify for an athletic scholarship, which is the only way she can afford college. She works a part-time job and takes care of her young niece for her older sister, who is on probation for drug and alcohol violations. She does not trust anything her sister says, but she agrees to be the designated driver and go to a party with her. All goes awry, however, when her sister gets falling-down drunk. Frustrated and wanting to leave, Sadie agrees to take two young men to the nearby 7-Eleven, where they say they want to pick up beer. Rather than doing that, they are actually there to drop off drugs, and they leave them in her car, where she is picked up by the police. In order to keep her sister out of jail and her niece out of the foster system, she pleads guilty after agreeing to a plea bargain that gets her probation. The agreement is thrown out by a substitute judge who sentences her to six months in juvenile hall, plus the probation. The story of her time in "juvie" and the time leading up to it are told in alternating chapters, with titles reminiscent of Dickens. Like one of his characters, it is left to the reader to discover if Sadie will be the hero of her own life. The truth of surviving juvie is told with unflinching honesty and may be an eye-opener to many readers. The subject matter should appeal to reluctant readers, but the length may be a challenge. Recommend this title to students who are fans of such programs as Scared Straight. Reviewer: Suanne B. Roush
Children's Literature - Kim Dare
Sadie Windas is the responsible sister, excelling in academics and sports, and looking after her three-year-old niece Lulu for her older sister, Carla. When Carla decides to go out and party, seventeen-year-old Sadie reluctantly accompanies her as the designated driver. Carla wastes no time hooking up with some unsavory characters until Sadie, desperate to get her sister to leave while still coherent, agrees to drive the guys to the 7-Eleven for more beer. Sadie discovers too late that the beer story is just a cover for a drug deal, and when the two men disappear into the shadows and police surround the car, Sadie and Carla are left holding the bag. If Carla is found guilty of possession, she will lose custody of Lulu, given her past convictions. Unwilling to put her niece in that situation, Sadie agrees to take the rap, expecting to receive a suspended sentence. But a substitute judge, angry that she is not forthcoming with the names of the two men, bypasses the plea agreement, sentencing her to six months in the Rappahannock Regional Youth Correctional Facility. Chapters alternate between events leading up to the ruling and the time that she spends in juvie. Sadie’s first-person narration captures the raw realities of institutional life, from the isolation to the violent outbursts to the glimmers of humanity. Wary about attracting undue attention, she discovers that sometimes her instinct to help others will be at odds with the facility’s expectation that she follow orders unquestioningly. Sadie is an engaging protagonist, and readers will appreciate how she slowly recognizes the part that she played in the events that unfolded on the evening of the party. Watkins does not provide a pat ending: as Sadie begins the second half of her sentence, readers will have to decide for themselves whether she made the right choice. A thought-provoking and ultimately hopeful novel. Reviewer: Kim Dare AGERANGE: Ages 14 up.
School Library Journal
10/01/2013
Gr 9 Up—Sadie's older sister, Carla, has a history of substance abuse and arrest. One night, she gets Sadie, 17, caught in a drug deal, and they are both detained. To keep Carla from going to prison, away from her three-year-old daughter, Sadie takes the rap, thinking she'll get community service. Unable to name names, though, she is sentenced to six months in a juvenile detention unit. There, she tries to keep her head down to avoid trouble from the guards and other prisoners, but still gets caught between different factions. At the same time, she worries about her mother and niece, and whether Carla is keeping her promise to finally get her life together. Told in alternating chapters from life inside to the weeks leading up to going into juvie, Sadie's narration displays her anger and bitterness, but also her naïveté, both in regard to her sister and to her fellow inmates. Character development comes late and is a tad rushed as Sadie starts to realize that her own bad decisions put her in the wrong place at the wrong time. Some situations, like one of the guards befriending Carla on the outside and feeding information to Sadie, stretch belief. Still, teens, especially reluctant readers, will be drawn into the tension and action.—Jennifer Rothschild, Arlington County Public Libraries, VA
Kirkus Reviews
★ 2013-08-15
Once you're in juvie, it doesn't matter if you're a good girl. Sadie's the good sister: taking care of her mentally ill, shut-in father; raising her party-girl sister Carla's 3-year-old daughter, Lulu; making good grades; and playing basketball in hopes of a scholarship that will get her out of her crummy Virginia town. One night, while Sadie tries to keep Carla out of trouble, the two of them are caught in a sting. Carla's on probation for shoplifting and possession, so Sadie agrees to take the fall, thinking she'll get off with some community-service hours. But she's caught before a hanging judge in the mood to make an example of drug-dealing minors, and the next thing she knows, she's spending six months in juvie. Neither the guards nor the inmates in juvenile detention are interested in rehabilitation. Demeaned and degraded, her schooling reduced to pointless GED-prep workbooks from apathetic teachers, barred from the simple comfort of human contact, Sadie doesn't see how she can return to her outward-bound trajectory when her six months are over. She wants to make friends, to avoid trouble and to protect those weaker than her, but none of that is as simple as it seems. In the midst of the terrible reality, realistically tiny glimmers of hope shine like candles fighting the darkness. A bleakly optimistic reminder to hold on to what is good. (Fiction. 13-17)
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781480542075
  • Publisher: Candlewick on Brilliance Audio
  • Publication date: 10/28/2013
  • Format: CD
  • Edition description: Unabridged
  • Age range: 14 - 17 Years
  • Product dimensions: 6.20 (w) x 6.80 (h) x 1.10 (d)

Meet the Author

Steve Watkins is the author of the novels Down Sand Mountain, which won a Golden Kite Award, and What Comes After. He is also the author of a nonfiction book and short-story collection for adults and is the recipient of a Pushcart Prize. About Juvie, he says, “One of the few hopeful things about juvenile detention that I saw during my visits is all the reading that goes on there. No electronic devices are allowed, and there’s limited TV time and access to video games, but there’s a lot of reading. Ten hours a night is a long time alone in your cell. With a book, at least, you’re not quite as alone, and reading can take you to other, better worlds.” Steve Watkins is a retired professor of journalism, creative writing, and Vietnam War literature. He now spends his days teaching Ashtanga yoga, working with the child advocacy organization CASA, and writing books for young adults. He lives in Fredericksburg, Virginia, with his family.
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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4.5
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Sort by: Showing all of 5 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted July 14, 2014

    Ashley

    "Result 3."

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    Posted July 20, 2014

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    Posted July 14, 2014

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 7, 2013

    Amaing!

    :) good buy

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  • Anonymous

    Posted November 27, 2013

    juvie

    I couldn't put it down.

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