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Posted May 20, 2009
Sean has lived a fairly low-key existence. He does well in school and has parents who support him and expect him to head to college when he finishes high school. They really don't even care if he gets an after-school job, instead thinking he should focus his attention on success in school. But the lure of some extra pocket money and a little excitement lead him to a job at Burger Heaven.
Flipping burgers is not Sean's dream job, but it's keeping him busy. He never imagined it would offer the rush of adrenaline that would turn him into a risk-taker. It happened shortly after midnight on a Friday. The guys entered the restaurant wearing ski masks and carrying guns. When one of them stepped up to the counter and looked Sean in the eyes, something clicked and Sean seemed to know exactly what to do. He calmly handed them the money from each of the cash drawers. They accepted the cash and left, only having fired a single shot at the ceiling.
Could all the action and excitement be over by the end of page 6? Hardly. Sean's experience at Burger Heaven is just the beginning of his new, risky life. His parents and even some of his friends think the robbery should have freaked him out enough to make him play it safe and quit his job, but that's the last thing Sean wants. He is forced into a mandatory week off to "recover" from the experience, but that time off simply becomes the beginning of Sean's search for adventure and excitement.
In RUNNING THE RISK, author Lesley Choyce presents a situation in which a character encounters a life-threatening event that triggers a desire for continued adventure. Sean's brush with danger whets his appetite for risky behavior. He becomes intrigued with a dangerous girl, unsavory parts of town, and even a psychotic homeless woman.
Will his new behavior end in tragedy, or will he come to his senses in time to return to his perhaps less exciting, but safe life?