One Way

One Way

5.0 1
by Norah McClintock

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Riding the wrong way up a one-way street, Kenzie takes his eyes off the road and hits a pedestrian. And not just any pedestrian. It's his ex-girlfriend, Stassi. Was this a freak accident? Or something more sinister? And when the police come to talk to him, it becomes clear that everyone thinks he had a reason to hurt her. Kenzie ends up in a fight to prove his

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Riding the wrong way up a one-way street, Kenzie takes his eyes off the road and hits a pedestrian. And not just any pedestrian. It's his ex-girlfriend, Stassi. Was this a freak accident? Or something more sinister? And when the police come to talk to him, it becomes clear that everyone thinks he had a reason to hurt her. Kenzie ends up in a fight to prove his innocence, even as he begins to question it himself.

Editorial Reviews

CM Magazine
"McClintock's story is faced-paced and well-suited to the high-interest, low-vocabulary format of the 'Orca Soundings' series...The reader is quickly drawn into Kenzie's mistake and his ensuing struggles...For those readers who enjoy drama and emotional novels but hate to give up happy endings, One Way is sure to entertain."
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"[McClintock] keeps readers hooked all the way. Kenzie is quickly developed into a strong character that we sympathize with and root for. One Way is packed with emotion and speeds through until the smart twist at the end. If a reluctant reader is looking, Orca Soundings don't disappoint and McClintock may even raise the bar."
Southwestern Ohio Young Adult Materials Review Group
"This fast paced novel has just enough suspense and intrigue to grab a struggling reader's attention and hold it captive throughout the entire plot. Kenzie is a typical teen, and his language and actions are reminiscent of what any high school boy might do in a similar situation....McClintock does a fantastic job of providing us with just enough clues to keep our interest but not too many clues that will make the surprise twist blaringly obvious. The plot is wrapped up very nicely in the end and there are no loose ends left to confuse readers or raise any questions...Struggling readers, especially males, will be able to relate to the characters and events."
Library Media Connection
"McClintock has created an action-packed plot with believable teenage characters and a captivating narrative that moves rapidly to an unpredictable conclusion."
Tri State YA Book Review Committee
"McClintock has done it again filling the book with suspense from the first to last page in vocabulary suitable for hi/lo readers...Full of twists and turns, this is a book that will appeal to boys and girls."
VOYA - Laura Woodruff
Teenaged Kenzie, late for school, rides his bike down a one-way street—his usual route—and swerves to avoid a car. As the driver gives him the finger, Kenzie looks backward to return the favor and hits something solid, sending him catapulting into the air and downward into unconsciousness. Not until the ambulance arrives does Kenzie realize he has struck and landed on his ex-girlfriend, Stassi, who is badly injured. Soon Kenzie has multiple visits from police detectives, who have information from an anonymous eye witness that Kenzie hit Stassi on purpose. Only Kenzie knows that Stassi still loves him. While his family seeks to defend him from criminal charges, Kenzie is plagued by his own guilt. A short novel in a popular series for challenged readers, One Way and other Orca Soundings volumes offer teen material in an easy format. Short and simple in language and plot, the stories have compellingly authentic main characters designed to engage young readers without insulting them. These inexpensive books are good additions to high-interest, low-reading-level collections. Reviewer: Laura Woodruff
School Library Journal
Gr 7 Up—These novels are aimed at reluctant and struggling male readers. Breaking Point centers on Cameron, who is sent to a camplike juvenile detention center after he is caught breaking and entering. There he meets troubled Brianna, and, under her influence, they formulate a plan to escape the Nova Scotia facility via kayak to the mainland, in spite of an approaching hurricane. They are not prepared for the storm's surge and Cameron is left to fend for himself after Brianna deserts him. In One Way, Kenzie is riding his bike the wrong way on a one-way street. As he is distracted by an altercation with a driver, he ends up crashing into his ex-girlfriend, Stassi, who appears to be brain-damaged after the collision. Detectives investigate the accident after a classmate claims that Kenzie intended to harm her. The teen decides to take matters into his own hands to figure out who is out to get him. The abrupt and seemingly random endings are reminiscent of a CSI episode, where plot twists come out of nowhere. Readers might be left confused as a result. Additionally, the theme of taking responsibility for one's actions becomes muddied because of the unexpected endings. That said, these hi/lo novels do focus on adventure and betrayal, which may be enough for teenage boys.—Lindsay Klemas, JM Rapport School for Career Development, Bronx, NY
Children's Literature - Jody Little
High-school student, Kenzie, makes a devastating mistake by riding his bicycle up a one-way street where he hits a pedestrian. When Kenzie discovers the pedestrian is his former girlfriend, Stassi, he is tormented with guilt. While Stassi lies in the hospital in a coma, Kenzie is questioned by the police about what happened. A witness has stepped forward and declared that Kenzie hit Stassi intentionally out of jealousy. As Kenzie reflects on his relationship with Stassi, he knows that he still loves her and he knows he could never harm her. He sets out to learn who has accused him of this false crime and he discovers that he is also guilty of making assumptions, assumptions about Stassi and her feelings toward him, and assumptions about the boy who he thought was making moves on Stassi. Author McClintock has written a fast-paced novel that is readable in one sitting. Although the plot is somewhat predictable, the insight into human emotions and actions is valuable and thought-provoking for teens. Reviewer: Jody Little

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Product Details

Orca Book Publishers
Publication date:
Orca Soundings Series
Sales rank:
Product dimensions:
4.20(w) x 6.90(h) x 0.50(d)
HL550L (what's this?)
Age Range:
12 - 17 Years

Read an Excerpt

I hit something.

    I have no idea what it is. All I know is that my bike slams to such a sudden stop that my butt comes off the seat and my feet leave the pedals. But I continue to grip the handlebars because I have the crazy idea that if I just hang on, everything will be okay.

Meet the Author

Norah McClintock is a five-time winner of the Crime Writers of Canada’s Arthur Ellis Award for crime fiction for young people. She is the author of more than sixty YA novels, including books in Seven (the series), the Seven Sequels and the Secrets series. Norah lives in Toronto, Ontario. For more information, visit

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One Way 5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 1 reviews.
Heidi_G More than 1 year ago
Kenzie is in big trouble. While riding his bike the wrong way on a street, he crashes into his ex-girlfriend, Stassi, seriously injuring her. Because of their recent breakup, Kenzie is suspected of purposefully hurting the girl. While trying to determine why eyewitiness accounts don't mirror what Kenzie thought happened, he learns that his way is not the only way, and that he may be just as guilty of having clouded judgment as others involved in the story. Norah McClintock continues her superb writing for teens in the Orca Soundings series, targeted at reluctant readers. Another winner. Thanks to Puget Sound Council for the review copy.