Kevin is a kid whose dad works as a carpenter and takes jobs wherever he can find them. As a result Kevin frequently moves from school to school. He has learned to just keep his mouth shut and to "go with the flow" in order to survive. Kevin wishes that a classmate named Erin would practice a similar technique. Unfortunately, Erin does the opposite. She talks back to a bully named Nick and she even snitches on him. This angers Nick and makes him more determined to torment her. When Nick and his goons plan an attack that involves sexually assaulting Erin, Kevin has to decide whether he should continue to keep out of trouble by keeping his mouth shut or jeopardize his own safety by trying to defend her. Ironically, Kevin's dad is in a similar situation at his work. Together, Kevin and his father learn that doing the right thing is not always easy and it does not always come with benefits, but it is something you need to do anyway. This fast paced book can be upsetting at times, but it is also enlightening. It is part of the "Orca Soundings" series. Reviewer: Denise Daley
Responsibleby Darlene Ryan
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Kevin Frasier is in a new high school. His fourth in the last year. He is trying to get along and not cause any waves. When he falls in with Nick and his friends, Kevin ends up going along as the group bullies and threatens their way through the school. When Nick starts tormenting Erin and she stands up to him, the harassment escalates until Kevin is forced to make a difficult decision and risk everything.
Read an Excerpt
Erin sucked in a sharp breath. "And I know you, Nick, because I can smell the stink of trash anywhere."
Shut up, Erin, I thought. Just shut up. Let them shave your head and get it over with. Nick bent over and grabbed Erin by the jaw, pulling her up so she was sitting. She was shaking. There was a smirk on his face, and I could hear how hard he was breathing. He pushed his mask up onto the top of his head.
Meet the Author
Darlene Ryan has been writing for as long as she can remember, although she pursued post-secondary degrees in biology and education. Despite being endlessly fascinated by theories on the origin of the universe, she decided she wasn't cut out to be a scientist and returned to writing. Darlene was the 2006 poet recipient of the Dr. Marilyn Trenholme Counsell Early Childhood Literacy Award. As Sofie Kelly, she writes the best-selling Magical Cats mysteries. She lives with her family in Fredericton, New Brunswick. More information is available at www.darleneryan.com.
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Kevin was part of Nick's gang, or at least he thought he was. Nick was a bully and threw his weight around their high school tormenting everyone. Despite complaints, the school administration didn't do a thing.
Acting tough was what helped Kevin survive both in school and at home. His dad went from job to job causing Kevin to attend school after school. He had to act tough at home to cover his frustration and anger at not having a decent pair of shoes or a hot meal. At his latest school he found that if he hung around with Nick and his friends and did Nick's bidding, he felt a part of something and not just some poor, helpless kid. But things were getting out of hand.
When Kevin started seeing Nick pick on Erin, he began to realize how dangerous it could be. It was one thing for Kevin to get knocked around, but seeing it happen to a girl was another matter. What would it cost him if he interfered?
RESPONSIBLE by Darlene Ryan is one of the high-interest, lower reading level books published by Orca Book Publishers. Set around the hot topic of bullying, Ryan tells an action-packed story that includes current teen issues from both home and the school environment. Reluctant readers or those looking for a quick read will find this book quite satisfactory.
I picked up this book on October 4 and finished it on October 4. This book is captivating and catches the read at first hand. A short summary of the story: Boy named Kevin is involved with a couple of "bad boys" (Nick, the leader, and his "sheep", Zach and Brendan) at school and they taunt and mess with a girl named Nick. After endless back and forth pranks between Nick and Erin, Nick decides to end it. Nick decides to sexual assault Erin after her shift at work. Kevin finds out about it, and tries to stop it. Nick beats the crap out of him and ends up in the hospital. Nick already has enough going on at home. He has a father that is never home long enough to even ask how his son's day was.... Not going to give to much away, go read it(;