Last Chance

( 1 )


The odds are stacked against Melanie and Trent, who are trying to stay in high school while holding down part-time jobs to survive. They can't live at home, and they can't rely on the social support system. They're going to have to help each other if they're going to make it.

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Last Chance

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The odds are stacked against Melanie and Trent, who are trying to stay in high school while holding down part-time jobs to survive. They can't live at home, and they can't rely on the social support system. They're going to have to help each other if they're going to make it.

Read More Show Less

Editorial Reviews

The Horn Book Guide
"Melanie's tough-as-nails narration is convincing."
Children's Literature - Heather Robertson Mason
Melanie is homeless after running away from her emotionally abusive parents. She refuses to quit school, but doesn't know how she's going to survive. Trent wants to stay in school, but can't afford rent and food without working the late shift at a local donut shop, leaving him far too tired to study during the day. Between the two of them, they are determined to make it work...that's until Trent's boss misses a payday and their landlord wants them out. It will take Trent's work ethic and Melanie's strength and intelligence to pull them through. The book is definitely meant to be a motivational book. Through hard work and determination, these two teens survive. Although Trent at one point succumbs to poverty and begins cruising the streets near the end, most of time the characters work hard and stay focused to overcome their obstacles. The author keeps the story simple and direct instead of melodramatic. This would be a good book to give to older struggling readers. The story gives a pretty accurate vision of how difficult it is for teens on their own, but the characters lack some realism. It's also predictable in parts and has a big happy ending that ties everything up too neatly. All in all, it's not a bad book. In fact, it's refreshing to see teens who want to rise above their situations and adults who want to help them. It's just not a great book for strong readers. Reviewer: Heather Robertson Mason
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781552774441
  • Publisher: Lorimer, James & Company, Limited
  • Publication date: 3/1/2010
  • Series: Lorimer SideStreets Series
  • Pages: 168
  • Age range: 13 - 17 Years
  • Lexile: HL610L (what's this?)
  • Product dimensions: 4.30 (w) x 6.90 (h) x 0.40 (d)

Meet the Author

Lesley Choyce is a publisher and author of more than sixty books.

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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 5
( 1 )
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Sort by: Showing 1 Customer Reviews
  • Posted July 8, 2010

    more from this reviewer

    Reviewed by Sally Kruger aka "Readingjunky" for

    Many YA books today focus on the issue of homeless kids and runaways. Their stories include the horrifying ways they find to survive on the streets and their disturbing living conditions. Few of these books feature kids like Trent and Melanie, who are working hard to stay out of the sex and drug trade, hold down legit jobs, and actually attend school determined to graduate and make better lives for themselves. LAST CHANCE is their story.

    Melanie left home after dealing with years of emotional abuse. Any chance of getting help from some social agency is out of the question, since she can't claim any substantial acts of physical violence from her parents. All she knows is she can't stand living there any longer. Her first days were spent on the streets living with other kids just like her. Although she spent her days in her high school classes, she had to sleep on the streets and hope that a little food would come her way each day.

    Then she met Trent. He started out the same way, but he was now living in an apartment, holding down a part-time job at night, and attending his high school during the day. Granted, the apartment included a bunch of drug dealers and hookers as neighbors. And keeping the landlord off his back about the rent made Trent's lifestyle far from the American dream, but at least Melanie could get off the street and sleep on his couch in relative safety.

    Not long after moving in with Trent, she is offered a job at the same doughnut shop where he works. With both of them working, the rent money might be easier to come by. For a short while things are looking up, but then Trent makes the boss angry and he gets fired. Can they keep things together until he gets another job?

    LAST CHANCE portrays two teens trying to manage on their own. Their families have failed them, but together they try to do the impossible - support themselves, stay in school, and beat the odds against them. Author Lesley Choyce doesn't make the journey an easy one for Melanie and Trent. Their inspiring story will serve to show teens what guts and determination can accomplish.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
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