Kick

( 21 )

Overview

For the very first time in his decades-long career writing for teens, acclaimed and beloved author Walter Dean Myers writes with a teen, Ross Workman.

Kevin Johnson is a great kid and skilled soccer player. With attitude.

Then he ends up in jail.

Sergeant Brown is a tough ...

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Kick

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Overview

For the very first time in his decades-long career writing for teens, acclaimed and beloved author Walter Dean Myers writes with a teen, Ross Workman.

Kevin Johnson is a great kid and skilled soccer player. With attitude.

Then he ends up in jail.

Sergeant Brown is a tough cop and Kevin's mentor.

With attitude.

If Kevin and Brown can learn to trust each other, they might be able to turn things around.

Before it's too late.

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Editorial Reviews

New York Times
“Drugs, drive-by shootings, gang warfare, wasted lives—Myers has written about all these subjects with nuanced understanding and a hard-won, qualified sense of hope.”
Bulletin of the Center for Children’s Books (starred review)
Praise for Lockdown:“A moving tale of a kid who may have made a mistake but who still deserves the modest future he seeks. Refreshingly avoids cliché.”
Bulletin of the Center for Children’s Books (starred review)
Praise for Lockdown:“A moving tale of a kid who may have made a mistake but who still deserves the modest future he seeks. Refreshingly avoids cliché.”
Publishers Weekly
This book has an intriguing concept: veteran author Myers paired with a teenage fan to write the story of a soccer player in trouble with the law. In their story, Kevin—the 13-year-old son of a police officer killed on duty—was arrested after crashing his friend's father's car. Gerald Brown, a good-hearted sergeant, agrees to look into the case, finding in Kevin "a young man stumbling toward an uncertain future with a boldness that sometimes wasn't even clear to him." Both Brown's and Kevin's voices are convincing and sympathetic, with Kevin struggling to succeed in soccer and Brown dealing with a touchy stomach. However, a far-fetched phone call for help from Kevin's friend's father to Sgt. Brown and a confusing side story about an investigation into possibly exploited workers strain the plot. Even Kevin's ultimate confession about what happened that fateful night feels anticlimactic. Still, readers may find a gratifying parallel between the authors' creative collaboration (the back cover features their first email exchange) and the mutual respect that evolves between the well-developed characters. Ages 14–up. (Feb.)
Bulletin of the Center for Children's Books (starred review)
Praise for Lockdown:“A moving tale of a kid who may have made a mistake but who still deserves the modest future he seeks. Refreshingly avoids cliché.”
Bulletin of the Center for Children’s Books
Praise for Lockdown:“A moving tale of a kid who may have made a mistake but who still deserves the modest future he seeks. Refreshingly avoids cliché.”
Voice of Youth Advocates (VOYA)
Praise for Lockdown:“Myers creates a nuanced, realistic portrait of a teen dealing with incarceration and violence. Myers gets his voice just right.”
VOYA - Amy Fiske
Thirteen-year-old Kevin sits in juvie, facing serious charges. Caught behind the wheel of a car that he crashed into a light pole, he offers no explanation to the police. Worse still, the car belongs to a friend's father, who wants to press charges. The story is also told in the voice of Sergeant Brown, who intervenes at the request of the presiding judge. Kevin's father was a respected police officer killed in the line of duty several years earlier. This motivates Sergeant Brown and the judge to try to steer Kevin in a positive direction. In Kevin, unexpressed hurt and anger over the loss of his father collide with the difficulties of being a teen, sometimes with explosive results. Can Sergeant Brown reach a boy struggling with grief and isolation? Will Kevin open up to Sergeant Brown and allow him to help? In a departure for Myers, this book was co-written with a teen. Told in alternating voices, Myers wrote Sergeant Brown's chapters, and Workman contributed Kevin's. As an introduction, reprinted emails chronicle the growth of their relationship from young fan and seasoned writer to collaborative writers working on a project together. With Myers, there are always many layers beneath the surface of the story, and this is no exception. The book delves into the complexity of choices, consequences, relationships, and human experience. Workman offers a fresh voice as Kevin and more than holds his own as a writer, writing alongside an icon of young adult literature. Reviewer: Amy Fiske
Children's Literature - Denise Daley
Award winning young adult author Walter Dean Myers teamed up with a teenaged fan to write this action packed novel. Sports fans will enjoy the soccer plays that are described in detail. Thirteen year old Kevin Johnson's soccer team is competing for the State Championship. Luckily, Kevin will still be able to play, despite the fact that he was recently arrested and is facing charges that include auto theft and kidnapping. Kevin has never before been in trouble but he is suspiciously silent about the circumstances involving the night of his arrest. Sergeant Brown befriends Kevin in an attempt to learn what really happened and what Kevin may be hiding. Kevin is facing tough competition on the soccer field and even tougher personal turmoil as he tries to protect himself and keep a dark secret. This book is both exciting and emotional. Readers will be anxious to learn Kevin's secret and they will eagerly anticipate every detail as he slowly opens up to Sergeant Brown. Reviewer: Denise Daley
School Library Journal
Gr 6–9—In an interesting joint effort, Myers teamed with high school student Workman to produce this novel about a soccer player who runs into trouble helping a friend. Veteran police sergeant Jerry Brown is asked to look into the case of a 13-year-old boy who crashed a car belonging to his friend's father. Brown takes a special interest in the case when he is informed that the boy, Kevin Johnson, is the son of an officer who was killed in the line of duty. As Brown delves more deeply, he begins to suspect that the friend's family has something to hide. He also develops a bond with Kevin, who, although angry and troubled, is basically kindhearted and well-intentioned. Workman wrote the chapters narrated by the boy, and Myers wrote those narrated by Brown. This approach works quite well in terms of narrative voice, as Myers's more polished style reflects an adult perspective, while Workman's less-refined prose seems appropriate to his character's outlook and experience. There is some exciting soccer action, and the interaction between Brown and Kevin is heartwarming, yet natural and unforced. While some may feel that the denouement falls a little flat, the novel should have wide appeal to soccer fans, aspiring writers, and boys from difficult family circumstances who are trying to figure out how to make their way in the world.—Richard Luzer, Fair Haven Union High School, VT
Kirkus Reviews

The police spot a Ford Taurus with no headlights on weaving down a street, and when the officer puts his lights on, the driver of the Ford brakes, speeds up and drives into a light pole. The driver is 13-year-old Kevin Johnson, with passenger Christy McNamara, a girl his age. Officer Evans takes Christy home and Kevin to the Bedford County Juvenile Detention Center on a stolen-car rap, driving without a license, damaging city property and kidnapping—serious charges that will strike readers as blown out of proportion. Indeed, the case never really is the point of the story, nor is the back story about the abuse of illegal immigrants. It's the relationship between Kevin and Sgt. Brown, the officer asked to take the case, that's central.The story is told in the alternating voices of Kevin and the sergeant—written by veteran Myers and a 17-year-old fan he asked to write with him—a narrative structure that works well for developing the two sides of the relationship, and plenty of soccer action will keep readers interested.(Fiction. 12 & up)

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780062004918
  • Publisher: HarperCollins Publishers
  • Publication date: 4/24/2012
  • Edition description: Reprint
  • Pages: 197
  • Sales rank: 158,973
  • Age range: 13 - 17 Years
  • Product dimensions: 5.30 (w) x 7.90 (h) x 0.70 (d)

Meet the Author

Five-time Coretta Scott King Award winner Walter Dean Myers was the acclaimed author of a wide variety of nonfiction and fiction for young people. His nonfiction includes We Are America: A Tribute from the Heart; Now Is Your Time!: The African-American Struggle for Freedom; I've Seen the Promised Land: The Life of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.; Ida B. Wells: Let the Truth Be Told; Malcolm X: A Fire Burning Brightly; and Patrol: An American Soldier in Vietnam, a Jane Addams Children's Book Award winner. His illustrious list of young adult novels includes Darius & Twig; All the Right Stuff; Lockdown; Dope Sick; Autobiography of My Dead Brother; the New York Times bestseller Monster, which was the first winner of the Michael L. Printz Award; and many more. He was the 2012-2013 National Ambassador for Young People's Literature and an inaugural NYC Literary Honoree.

When Ross Workman was thirteen, he wrote a fan email to his favorite author. When Walter Dean Myers wrote back and asked him whether he would be interested in writing a book, Ross was amazed—and incredibly excited. Four years later, Ross is seventeen and in eleventh grade. In addition to writing, Ross plays a sport every season: high school soccer in the fall, high school wrestling in the winter, and club travel soccer in the spring. He lives in New Jersey.

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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4.5
( 21 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star

(15)

4 Star

(3)

3 Star

(2)

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See All Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 21 Customer Reviews
  • Posted June 22, 2011

    more from this reviewer

    An Enjoyable Read

    Fast paced and inspiring, Kick is a book that sure to become a favorite of many teens out there who love sport related reads with a touch of mystery.

    Kick tells the story of Kevin Johnson and Sergeant Brown and the bond they began to form a unquie bond. Kevin is the typical young man. He loves soccer more than anything, and he's a pretty good student as well as friend. Though, everything changes the night Kevin is arrested for taking a car without permission. Soon enough he lands an offense on his previously clean record, and the touch, sensible, and somewhat sweet Sergeant Brown enters Kevin's life with hope that he'll be able to get Kevin's life back on track again. Little do they know that everything is soon to change yet again, that soon they will have a great friendship. But will it be able to take the heat of a possible future court date as well as the secrets and confessions that keep tumbling out about that fateful night? Only time and more pages can tell in this read that will leave Myers fans cheering for Kevin and Sergeant Brown every step of the way!

    The best part of Kick is hands down the characters because both were likable and relatable. Kevin was the average teen boy, one that I'm sure boys and girls alike will have no problem relating to, and while Brown was tough on the edges on first, it was easy to see he was a softie at heart. One of the things I loved most about Sergeant Brown and Kevin was the friendship they began to form over the course of the book, because not only was it touching but inspiring as well to see Kevin began to look up to Brown as his mentor and step in father figure so to say.

    While the execution of the premise were a bit average and predictable, I had an easy time falling into the story, because I enjoyed learning more about soccer, the lives of the characters, and the legal process with every page. Also, I felt both Myers and Workman did a great job of leading up to the big reveal of what happened that night as the book progressed because it had just the right amount of tension and suspense to keep me intrigued.

    Lastly, the most inspiring aspect of this book would have to be the fact that Walter took Ross (a teen fan of his) on to write this novel with him after exchanging several emails. It was originally what got me interested in this book, and the final outcome was decent overall, because while Kick had its choppy parts at time because of the alternating perspectives, it was easy to see the talent Myers has and Workman is sure to accumulate plenty over time with his stories as well!

    In all, Kick is a promising debut from this writing duo, and I look forward to reading more by each, especially if they will be writing together!

    Grade: B

    2 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 16, 2013

    Jadee..

    Go to res one

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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 28, 2013

    Shania

    Walks in wearing an aqua fudora with a red stripes like a zebra. She was wearing a red Hollister tshirt and a pair of Aereopastle super skinny jeans. With red glittery toms.

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  • Posted February 14, 2013

    Teenagers usually turn to family or friends when getting into t


    Teenagers usually turn to family or friends when getting into trouble. But in “Kick,” a story about a young teenager who loves to play soccer, Kevin has to make a choice to let his friend get in trouble or to take the blame himself. His mentor, Police Sergeant Brown, helps Kevin stay on the right track and out of the juvenile center.

    Kevin was a bright student who loved to play soccer, but one day he made the wrong decision, one that would send him to the juvenile center. Kevin was stopped by the police for stealing a car. He was asked by his friend Christy to meet at the park. Kevin met her, but was asked not to question her on what was going on. Christy was having problems at home with her parents. She could not take it anymore, so she talked Kevin into meeting her. Christy had taken her parent’s car, but when the officer arrived, Kevin was behind the wheel of the car. Kevin was arrested and had serious charges filed against him.

    Kevin was a great soccer player for his high school. Sergeant Brown asked, “Just what are you good at?” Kevin said, “I don’t know. Soccer, I guess.” (pgs 16-17) In order for Kevin to play with his soccer team, he would have to keep up his grades up and stay out of trouble. Christy’s father wanted to press charges against Kevin for stealing his car and kidnapping his daughter. Christy would not even open her mouth to help Kevin. She would not tell her dad that she was the one to take the car. Kevin would keep quiet and take the rap for something he did not do. Sergeant Brown was working on Kevin’s case, trying to make sure he stayed out of trouble and out of the juvenile center. Kevin did not like the juvenile center. He was anxious to go home to his family and ready to get back on the soccer field.

    Sergeant Brown really liked Kevin and wanted to help him. Sergeant Brown knew Kevin’s father, who was on the police force with him. He knew Kevin did not have a man to look up to or a mentor in his life. Kevin had a lot of support from his family and friends. Kevin did not understand why Christy was silent and let him take the rap for something he did not do. When Kevin approached Christy, she told him what was going on with her mom and dad. Her dad hit her mom and her mom needed to go to a hospital to get mental help. Christy would meet up with Kevin a few days later to tell him that her father would not be pressing charges against him for stealing his car. “I have some good news. My dad talked to Sergeant Brown last night and said that he wasn’t going to press any charges.” (pg 181) Kevin was really happy that he would not be going to the juvenile center.

    I rate this book as 9 out of 10. It was a really interesting book. I could relate to it, because I love to play soccer. It also was an experience that any teenager could learn from. It teaches you to be trustworthy and help your friends and family even if it hurts someone you love. Sometimes you have to make a choice so that it will help everyone out for the good and not the bad. Make wise choices and don’t be afraid to take the rap for something you have done and always trust in people who want to help you.


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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 9, 2013

    Good

    Good

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted August 30, 2012

    ?P

    Xr nc. Rlxp
    ZSM
    :8 lliiuy
    B (08'7jbmjc

    0 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 26, 2012

    Cats

    Sign us Blazeclan kits up!~Twigkit, Bluekit, Barkkit, Angelkit, Starkit, Poisonkit, Toxickit, Lavenderkit and Talonkit

    Sign us Shadeclan kits up!~Berrykit, Bumblekit and Stormkit

    Sign us Riverclan kits up!~Stormkit, Thornkit, Puffinkit, Rumblekit and Cloudkit

    Sign us Thunderclan kits up!~Moustachekit, Firekit and Duskkit

    0 out of 7 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 28, 2012

    Tigerkit

    Tigerkit lunged towards the ball, but fell on her paw" Ow!" She yelped, limping off the field.

    0 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 26, 2012

    Berrykit and Rosekit

    Well just watch then. The two brown shekits mewed.

    0 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 26, 2012

    Specklekit

    "I'm Specklekit. Can I compete?" She grinned. -Specklekit

    0 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 26, 2012

    Palekit and Tinykit

    Tinykit stands in Pk and catches the ball. She throws it to Sk.

    0 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 26, 2012

    Foxkit

    Grabs it and throws it in the air. She crouches down amd amberkit runs to foxkit and leaps off her bacl and airkicks it ino he goal. ~ foxkit

    0 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 26, 2011

    No text was provided for this review.

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    Posted June 15, 2011

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    Posted August 19, 2011

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    Posted November 13, 2012

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    Posted March 18, 2011

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    Posted February 14, 2012

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    Posted July 28, 2011

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    Posted April 25, 2011

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