Riley Park

( 1 )

Overview

The steel bar swings again, thudding against Darius's back. Darius makes a whooshing noise, that's all.

Corbin plays hockey and is known as a scrapper on and off the ice. Fighting makes him feel strong. His friend, Darius, is popular, and his reckless risk-taking makes Corbin feel alive. But at a party in Riley Park, Darius crosses a line with a girl both boys like, and later Darius and Corbin are attacked. Darius is killed, and Corbin is seriously injured. Left with a clouded ...

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Riley Park

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Overview

The steel bar swings again, thudding against Darius's back. Darius makes a whooshing noise, that's all.

Corbin plays hockey and is known as a scrapper on and off the ice. Fighting makes him feel strong. His friend, Darius, is popular, and his reckless risk-taking makes Corbin feel alive. But at a party in Riley Park, Darius crosses a line with a girl both boys like, and later Darius and Corbin are attacked. Darius is killed, and Corbin is seriously injured. Left with a clouded memory and a weakened body, Corbin struggles to identify the assailants and fights against the loss of his friend. Will he ever be able to give up the fight and find the strength in acceptance?

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Editorial Reviews

CM Magazine
"Another solid entry in the 'Orca Soundings' series that will appeal to either gender...Recommended."
Booklist
"A suspenseful, tightly plotted story that manages, in only 102 pages, to create both a memorable protagonist and a thought-provoking, emotionally involving story."
Southwestern Ohio Young Adult Materials Review Group
"An intriguing storyline...The story is told in first person by Corbin, pulling the reader into his changed life. The reader feels his doubt and anger. This book will make a good "guy read", especially for reluctant readers."
Resource Links
"Good for students who are looking for a quick read."
Children's Literature - Della A. Yannuzzi
Author Tullson has written a thoughtful short novel about a boy named Corbin who loses his friend in a senseless act of violence. Corbin tells the story of how he and Darius found themselves in a dangerous situation in a place called Riley Park. The novel opens with Corbin seeing a girl named Rubee hurrying to her job at Safeway. He is waiting for his friend Darius, who arrives to see Corbin watching Rubee. Darius encourages Corbin to ask her out, but Corbin says she has a boyfriend. Darius decides to invite Rubee to a party at Riley Park on the banks of the Riley River. Corbin is annoyed that Darius has done this. When Corbin and Darius get to the park, they jump off a cliff into the water. When they emerge from the river, Rubee is there to greet them. Darius flirts with Rubee and Corbin gets angry. Darius tells him he had his chance to ask Rubee out. Corbin sulks and begins drinking beer. He passes out and awakes after everyone has left except Darius. They are about to leave when Corbin gets hit from behind, then he sees three guys attacking Darius. He goes over to help Corbin even though he has been hit in the back of the head with a steel bar. He fights and fights and then he hears sirens. The guys run away leaving Darius on the ground. They are both taken to the hospital where Darius dies and Corbin is seriously injured. As the story evolves, the reader finds out that Rubee's ex-boyfriend and his friends are responsible for this thoughtless act. Young lives are ruined and changed forever. Riley Park is a fast-paced, dialogue-filled book with a strong message that will cause readers to think about the choices they make. Reviewer: Della A. Yannuzzi
School Library Journal
Gr 7 Up—During a party-prepping trip to Safeway, friends Corbin and Darius flirt with Rubee, a local hottie manning the cash register. Darius invites her to the party, and the boys leave the market anticipating Rubee's arrival. At the party, he makes a play for her, and Corbin, in a jealous and alcohol-induced fit, attacks him. The party ends when Corbin passes out. (Gallant friend that he is, Darius remains with Corbin until he wakes up.) Without warning, the boys are jumped and severely beaten by hooded assailants. Corbin awakens in the ER and learns that while both he and his friend suffered severe head trauma, he is now under investigation for murder as Darius has died of his injuries. No witnesses saw the attackers, but the partygoers can attest to Corbin fighting with Darius. Corbin tries to resume his pre-assault life and find out who killed his friend, but his extensive injuries hamper his attempts. Likable flawed characters drive the plot in this gritty contemporary drama. The fast-paced read feels current and edgy without succumbing to inner-city staging. Riley Park will have both reluctant and struggling readers flipping the pages.—H. H. Henderson, Heritage Middle School, Deltona, FL
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781554691234
  • Publisher: Orca Book Publishers
  • Publication date: 4/1/2009
  • Series: Orca Soundings Series
  • Edition description: New Edition
  • Pages: 128
  • Sales rank: 1,061,075
  • Age range: 12 - 17 Years
  • Product dimensions: 4.20 (w) x 6.90 (h) x 1.60 (d)

Meet the Author

Diane Tullson grew up in Calgary, Alberta, and has studied English literature, journalism and editing. Before becoming an author, Diane worked in newspaper, radio and travel. She is a member of the Canadian Children's Book Centre, the
Vancouver Children's Literature Roundtable, Children's Writers and Illustrators of British Columbia and the Writers Union of Canada. Diane has been nominated for many awards, including the Stellar Award and the Arthur Ellis Award. Diane lives with her family in Delta, British Columbia. For more information, visit
www.dianetullson.com.
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Read an Excerpt

The steel bar swings again, thudding against Darius's back. Darius makes a whooshing noise, that's all.
Read More Show Less

Customer Reviews

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Sort by: Showing 1 Customer Reviews
  • Posted May 1, 2009

    more from this reviewer

    Reviewed by Sally Kruger aka "Readingjunky" for TeensReadToo.com

    Corbin and Darius are close friends. They are into the party scene and spend considerable time at Riley Park. This is the story of the last party they attended and its tragic end.

    There was the usual drinking and stunting that fateful night. Corbin remembers their daring jump from high on the cliff into the lake. It was a thrill they would be able to share for the rest of their lives. Who knew Darius would be dead by the next day?

    After everyone left the party, the two friends were about to head home as well, when three strangers attacked them. All Corbin remembers is being hit on the head with incredible force. The next thing he knows he is in the hospital. When he begs a nurse to tell him how Darius handled the attack, she tells him his friend is dead.

    What follows for Corbin is a difficult recovery filled with the knowledge that he will never be the same both physically and emotionally. His attempt to deal with the loss of his friend and his physical challenges is complicated by the fact that he is a suspect in the investigation surrounding the attack. He couldn't possibly be responsible for Darius's death, but who were the three strangers, and who can help him solve the mystery?

    Diane Tullson uses just over 100 pages to weave a complex story about the tragic death of one young man and the guilt and pain of another. Readers will sense frustration and anger as Corbin searches for answers and adjusts to the changes in his life.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
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