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SkateFate
     

SkateFate

3.5 2
by Juan Felipe Herrera
 

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From U.S. Poet Laureate Juan Felipe Herrera comes the powerful journey of Chicano teen Lucky Z. A former skateboarder who's anything but lucky, he finds triumph and power through his voice. Raw, cool, real—this novel in verse is a shout-out to teens to find the extraordinary in the ordinary, to raise their voice and find strength in the sheer and simple

Overview

From U.S. Poet Laureate Juan Felipe Herrera comes the powerful journey of Chicano teen Lucky Z. A former skateboarder who's anything but lucky, he finds triumph and power through his voice. Raw, cool, real—this novel in verse is a shout-out to teens to find the extraordinary in the ordinary, to raise their voice and find strength in the sheer and simple power of expression.

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. As you feel Lucky breathe in life again, you will want to shout out with him.

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)

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780061432897
Publisher:
HarperCollins Publishers
Publication date:
10/27/2015
Edition description:
Reprint
Pages:
128
Sales rank:
1,317,914
Product dimensions:
4.90(w) x 7.10(h) x 0.50(d)
Age Range:
13 Years

Meet the Author

Juan Felipe Herrera is the U.S. Poet Laureate and was inspired by the fire-speakers of the early Chicano Movement and by heavy exposure to various poetry, jazz, and blues performance streams. His published works include 187 Reasons Mexicanos Can't Cross the Border: Undocuments 1971–2007; Border-Crosser with a Lamborghini Dream; Mayan Drifter: Chicano Poet in the Lowlands of the Americas; Thunderweavers/Tejedoras de Rayos; Laughing Out Loud, I Fly, a Pura Belpré Honor Book; Américas Award winners Crashboomlove and Cinnamon Girl; Calling the Doves, which won the Ezra Jack Keats Award; and Upside Down Boy, which was adapted into a musical. He has received the National Book Critics Circle Award in poetry as well as a Guggenheim Fellowship and previously served as California Poet Laureate. He has taught at both California State University, Fresno and University of California, Riverside and held the Tomás Rivera endowed chair in creative writing. He lives in Fresno, California.

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SkateFate 3.5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 2 reviews.
SleepDreamWrite More than 1 year ago
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.
TeensReadToo More than 1 year ago
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.