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Seventeen-year-old Noah and his two buddies go to an Italian-American neighborhood, intent on stealing a car to sell for parts. Instead, some thugs target the African-American teens and beat Noah's head in with a baseball bat. The unrepentant bat wielder, Charlie Scaturro, and his cohorts are charged with a hate crime. His cousin Spenelli confesses and the third boy, the son of a police officer, testifies to avoid prosecution. At Noah's mostly black school, white kids wear "Free Spenelli" T-shirts and the gym teacher is a vicious, obvious bigot. All of the basher's Italian-American friends and family are unabashedly racist. Volponi presents Noah's life as a student, son, and teen father simply though not simplistically. The dialogue between the protagonist and his buddies and family is occasionally precious, but mostly natural. Volponi interjects film-script dialogue of events in prison, and in Charlie's head. Though these episodes highlight Charlie's narcissism, they detract from the (mildly) suspenseful mood and slow the pace of the narrative. The racism in this town is so vicious and public, so over-the-top that it's hard to see the white, mostly Italian Americans as anything but caricatures. Though it's certainly easy to believe the events of this story, Volponi's portrayal is never wholly convincing.-Johanna Lewis, New York Public Library
Posted August 12, 2009
Noah has grown up in East Franklin, a predominately black area. One night when he and two friends decide to head on over to nearby Hillsboro (about 95% white) to boost a car, life changes dramatically.
The three friends never get to commit their intended crime because they run into three white teens bent on keeping their neighborhood free of blacks. The white boys verbally abuse and threaten Noah and his friends, and it's when they begin to chase them that things take a turn. Noah trips and falls. An angry youth nicknamed Scat swings a baseball bat and fractures Noah's skull.
The quick response of paramedics and the quality treatment at the Hillsboro hospital work together to save young Noah. He's plagued with headaches and will live with a metal plate stitched into his head, but he will live to finish high school and be around to be a father for his baby daughter.
When it was determined that the three Hillsboro teens had no way of knowing Noah and his friends were there to steal a car, arrests were made and the three were charged with a hate crime. The actual attack was horrific, but now Noah and his family must live through the stressful experience of a trial. They learn the hard way about harassment and plea bargains as they attend countless meetings with county provided attorneys.
Paul Volponi brings headline material to life in RESPONSE. He portrays a black family working together to educate their son and help him and his teenage girlfriend raise their own child. In Noah, readers will meet a frightened yet determined young man learning how to make his way in a not-so-friendly world.
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Posted March 25, 2013
Posted August 23, 2010
This book was a very thrilling book, because one day Noah and his friends went to Hillsboro to steal an expensive car. Then when they got there they realized that they did not want to do it so th ey just went to eat pizza and when they got out of the pizza place they found some white guys who where insulting them. Then one of them got a baseball metal bat and they started chasing them, so Noah and his friends started running and then Noah tripped and then they hit him with the metal baseball bat and they fractured his skull. Then they put his life in danger because they were about to kill him when they fractured his skull ,when he was going to have a daughter with Deshawna. So if he died his daughter was not going to have a dad. Noah´s life is very dramatic because of his grandma who died, and then he was going to send a guy to jail because they fractured his skull.After a few days the police arrested the guy with the bat then at the end they were going to give him 25 years of jail and then Noah talked to the judge and they only gave him 18 years of jail. So I would recommend this book to a friend. I also want to read the book ¨black and white¨ by Paul Volponi.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted February 4, 2009
A terrific book for teens. Full of fear, and forgiveness. Deep characters and plenty to discuss about right and wrong. A real winner in the true style of Paul Volponi's Black and White and Rooftop.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted February 17, 2009
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Posted January 4, 2010
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