Kick

Kick

4.6 24
by Walter Dean Myers, Ross Workman
     
 

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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 thirteen years old. And heading for juvie. He's a good kid, a great friend, and a star striker for his Highland, New Jersey, soccer team. His team is competing for the State Cup, and he wants

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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 thirteen years old. And heading for juvie. He's a good kid, a great friend, and a star striker for his Highland, New Jersey, soccer team. His team is competing for the State Cup, and he wants to prove he has more than just star-player potential. Kevin's never been in any serious trouble . . . until the night he ends up in jail. Enter Sergeant Brown, a cop assigned to be Kevin's mentor. If Kevin and Brown can learn to trust each other, they might be able to turn things around before it's too late.

Editorial Reviews

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 (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.”
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.”
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:
9780062069573
Publisher:
HarperCollins Publishers
Publication date:
02/01/2011
Sold by:
HARPERCOLLINS
Format:
NOOK Book
Pages:
224
Sales rank:
174,086
File size:
0 MB
Age Range:
13 - 17 Years

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