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SkateFate

( 2 )

Overview

I wanted to roar out

touch things i had never touched. to see if it was true. was i still here was this life still here. on this side. whatever you call it dude. wanted to touch everything like van Gogh touched and smeared everything when he painted. so i wrote it and spoke it. maybe mama would hear me. cuz i could hear her. sayin' When your heart hurts, sing. wherever you go.

Lucky Z has always lived on the edge—he loved to skateboard, to drag...

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SkateFate

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Overview

I wanted to roar out

touch things i had never touched. to see if it was true. was i still here was this life still here. on this side. whatever you call it dude. wanted to touch everything like van Gogh touched and smeared everything when he painted. so i wrote it and spoke it. maybe mama would hear me. cuz i could hear her. sayin' When your heart hurts, sing. wherever you go.

Lucky Z has always lived on the edge—he loved to skateboard, to drag race, to feel alive. But things have taken a turn—he's living with new foster parents and a tragic past. An accident changed everything. And only his voice will set him free.

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Editorial Reviews

Kirkus Reviews - Kikus Reviews

Short diary entries and a series of confident, colorful poems introduce readers to Lucky, a wheelchair-bound former skater and drag racer who became paralyzed after a car accident. Despite the fact that Lucky is now in foster care after losing both his parents (one to Iraq War–induced post traumatic stress syndrome, one to breast cancer), he maintains a sunny outlook as evidenced by his mostly upbeat poetry. Some readers will enjoy Herrera's lyrical poems, full of strong images and stop-and-go rhythms ("on the gnarled foot so it will turn into a swan / on the hurt breast so that every beat of the heart / writes a new word for love"), while those looking for the story of a skateboarder that the title and cover promises may come away disappointed. The very brief prose sections don't provide enough detail to put the often nonsensical poetry into context. The result is a mixed bag that doesn't quite work as a narrative or a story in verse. Only one thing is certain—readers expecting a skating account are in for a wipeout. (Poetry. 12 & up)

Kirkus Reviews

Short diary entries and a series of confident, colorful poems introduce readers to Lucky, a wheelchair-bound former skater and drag racer who became paralyzed after a car accident. Despite the fact that Lucky is now in foster care after losing both his parents (one to Iraq War–induced post traumatic stress syndrome, one to breast cancer), he maintains a sunny outlook as evidenced by his mostly upbeat poetry. Some readers will enjoy Herrera's lyrical poems, full of strong images and stop-and-go rhythms ("on the gnarled foot so it will turn into a swan / on the hurt breast so that every beat of the heart / writes a new word for love"), while those looking for the story of a skateboarder that the title and cover promises may come away disappointed. The very brief prose sections don't provide enough detail to put the often nonsensical poetry into context. The result is a mixed bag that doesn't quite work as a narrative or a story in verse. Only one thing is certain—readers expecting a skating account are in for a wipeout. (Poetry. 12 & up)

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780061432873
  • Publisher: HarperCollins Publishers
  • Publication date: 2/22/2011
  • Pages: 116
  • Sales rank: 995,131
  • Age range: 12 - 17 Years
  • Product dimensions: 5.00 (w) x 7.20 (h) x 0.70 (d)

Meet the Author

Juan Felipe Herrera holds the Tomás Rivera endowed chair in creative writing at the University of California, Riverside. He is the author of numerous poetry volumes, including Half of the World in Light; 187 Reasons Mexicanos Can't Cross the Border: Undocuments 1971-2007; Border-Crosser with a Lamborghini Dream; and numerous children's books, including The Upside Down Boy, which was adapted into a musical in New York City; Laughing Out Loud, I Fly, winner of a Pura Belpré Honor; and Cinnamon Girl, winner of the Américas Award. He was also awarded the National Book Critics Circle Award in poetry and a Guggenheim Fellowship. He lives and tours with the poet Margarita Luna Robles.

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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 3.5
( 2 )
Rating Distribution

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Sort by: Showing all of 2 Customer Reviews
  • Posted July 30, 2014

    Okay

    So while browsing for something new to read and one that I haven't heard of and well, the size of the book as well, I noticed this and it was okay. Interesting but okay. In a way its verse but it has poems and has a story in a way. I wasn't sure what rating to give this. But 3 sounds about right.

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  • Posted August 25, 2010

    more from this reviewer

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

    When you read Lucky Z.'s story, you are reading his most personal thoughts in what he describes as his "hot-pink" journal. Some prose, but mostly poetry, expresses his pain and suffering and how he comes to terms with what life has dealt him.

    Lucky Z. might not appear lucky as he describes the screws in his legs and a bumpy scar on his forehead as he sits in his wheelchair. All of this is the result of a senseless accident. It's an accident that killed a friend and has him trying to make sense of what is left.

    Thanks to cancer, his mother is gone, and his father is more interested in alcohol and violence than he is in his son. Now living in a foster home, Lucky Z. pours out his feelings in his verse.

    SKATE FATE is tightly written and requires concentration and focus from the reader. Herrera's poems reveal Lucky Z.'s passion and pain, but without the use of conventional mechanical structure, readers will find it a challenging read.

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