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Last Chance

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Overview

Nick planted himself in my path. "Hey," he said. "It's been bugging me since the first day, but now I know who you are." His purple-blue eyes were as hard as amethyst. "You're the girl who turned me in."

Robyn's scared of dogs—like, really scared. But she agrees to spend her summer working at an animal shelter anyway. (It's a long story.) Robyn soon discovers that many ...

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#1 Last Chance

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Overview

Nick planted himself in my path. "Hey," he said. "It's been bugging me since the first day, but now I know who you are." His purple-blue eyes were as hard as amethyst. "You're the girl who turned me in."

Robyn's scared of dogs—like, really scared. But she agrees to spend her summer working at an animal shelter anyway. (It's a long story.) Robyn soon discovers that many juvenile offenders also volunteer at the shelter—including Nick D'Angelo, a boy from Robyn's past. A boy she hoped to never see again.

Nick has a talent for getting into trouble, but after his latest arrest, Robyn suspects that he just might be innocent. And she sets out to prove it....

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Editorial Reviews

Children's Literature - Kristi Bernard
On a so-called protest against animal testing for various products, Robyn Hunter ends up in jail. Her mom, an attorney, gets her released with the promise she will do volunteer work at a local animal shelter. Of course, this arrangement is better than jail, except Robyn has a phobia of dogs. Especially since she was attacked by a German shepherd when she was eight years old. The good thing out of her fear of dogs is that her obsession has resulted in her knowing lots of facts about them. Upon her arrival at the animal shelter, Robyn has an unexpected encounter with a large dog. But to her surprise she is saved from a potential attack by the dog's trainer. Nick D'Angelo, the trainer, is a familiar face from Robyn's past, but hopeful he doesn't recognize her. Robyn shakes off her fear and resumes her mission to work at the shelter and do her time as a member of the fund raising committee. Robyn is not alone in her mandatory volunteering; the boys from RAD (Rehabilitate a Dog) are here too. Most of them are here instead of participating in a court mandated anger management counseling session. Her past with Nick isn't a good one. He had gotten into some trouble and Robyn had been the one who turned him in. She is learning, through her lunchtime conversations with Nick, that perhaps he has changed and is working toward good. He really loves working with the dogs and he is good at it. Although he still seems to have some issues with anger, he seems to be happy working with the dogs. His goal is to someday be able to adopt Orion, the dog from Robyn's first encounter at the shelter. Robyn's new image of Nick soon becomes shaded with doubts when she learns that he has been implicated in a hit-and-run incident while driving a stolen car. Robyn decides to find out more about the sudden change in Nick and make an effort to help him out of a very bad situation. McClintock has created a story full of emotional twists and turns. Readers quickly become engaged with the characters and the paths they choose to follow along with the constant element of danger. Readers who are animal lovers will find this story interesting and touching. McClintock teaches readers that everyone deserves a second chance and that enemies can become friends. It is recommended that children older than 10 years read this book with the permission from their parents. Reviewer: Kristi Bernard
Kirkus Reviews
How does a girl who's terrified of dogs wind up working at an animal shelter? The dogs aren't the only thing that scares Robyn. Back in middle school, she turned in a boy for stealing. She hoped she'd never see him again, but there he is, also working at the shelter. Nick doesn't seem able to stay out of trouble. Yet both Robyn and Nick are doing community service at the shelter. Robyn, accused of breaking a window during a protest march, still sees herself as superior to Nick, accused of violent crime. When she thinks she sees Nick trying to steal money again, she isn't sure what she should do. Meanwhile, Robyn learns more about Nick when he's arrested again. This time she thinks he's innocent and sets out to prove it. To amp the tension a little bit, add in the fact that a dog Nick has been training may be put down if Nick leaves his rehabilitation program. As the story unfolds, Robyn learns more about Nick's predicament, turning the story into a mystery. McClintock keeps her writing at a level simple and clear enough to attract both middle-school and reluctant high-school readers. She portrays both Robyn and Nick as flawed people, but both learn and grow, finally making both interesting and attractive characters. Volume two in the Robyn Hunter Mysteries series, You Can Run, publishes simultaneously. Great for dog lovers and young mystery fans. (Mystery. 12-16)
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780761385295
  • Publisher: Darby Creek Publishing
  • Publication date: 1/28/2012
  • Series: Robyn Hunter Mysteries Series
  • Pages: 223
  • Sales rank: 410,807
  • Age range: 11 - 17 Years
  • Lexile: 640L (what's this?)
  • Product dimensions: 5.10 (w) x 7.50 (h) x 0.90 (d)

Meet the Author

Norah McClintock is the author of several YA mystery series including Robyn Hunter, Chloe & Levesque, and Mike & Riel. She is a five-time winner of the Crime Writers of Canada's Arthur Ellis Award for Best Juvenile Crime Novel. McClintock was born and raised in Montreal, Quebec. She lives in Toronto with her husband and children.

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