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Taking Control
     

Taking Control

by Katherine Hengel
 

Themes: Hi-Lo, Sports, urban teens, Basketball. Finding the "right book" for struggling learners is essential to build both confidence and proficiency. Reading supports must be seamless, so that struggling readers are not stigmatized. The District 13 series does just that—written using carefully chosen vocabulary and simple sentences, the novels offer

Overview

Themes: Hi-Lo, Sports, urban teens, Basketball. Finding the "right book" for struggling learners is essential to build both confidence and proficiency. Reading supports must be seamless, so that struggling readers are not stigmatized. The District 13 series does just that—written using carefully chosen vocabulary and simple sentences, the novels offer compelling teen stories about characters that interest young adult readers. Using sports as a backdrop, these edgy and mature titles confront issues that are of great importance to urban teens, especially teenaged boys: Coming of age, dating, fitting in, friendships, drugs, self-esteem, and school. Straightforward plots move readers through the 48-pages of text quickly and efficiently with satisfying resolutions. Synopsis: They all walked to the court. Uncle Robert passed the ball to Patrice. She stepped toward the baseline. She looked so natural. She shot the ball. Nothing but net. Akil's jaw dropped. "Can you do that again?" The answer was yes.

Editorial Reviews

VOYA - Steven Kral
This review addresses five books in the "District 13" series from Saddleback Publishers. In Fighting the Legend, Ty struggles to maintain his grades and his place on the football team while fighting his anger at the father who left him. In No Easy Race, Victor learns about the strength of his family when his attempts to be voted homecoming king and make the track team run into a wave of anti-Hispanic racism. In Taking Control, Akil's new girlfriend, Patrice, has run afoul of Deena, the girlfriend of Akil's friend Tre, and Akil has to decide where his loyalties really lie. In Wings, Angel has a college agent coming to see him play. When his friend Roberto causes an on-field accident that may end Angel's baseball career, will Angel be able to forgive him? In Line Up, Daniel tries to balance earning a spot on the track team with a budding romance and a bully's demand for his grandfather's gun. Using basic vocabulary and short sentences, with an emphasis on dialogue, the series is squarely aimed at struggling readers. The text is large and the novels short. This brevity greatly hurts the novels, however, as there is little room for character development or detailed scenes on the sports field. This makes the novels rather didactic and the sports action perfunctory. The series would work in a remedial reading class, but some material may give teachers pause. There is no language worse than scattered "damn" and "hell", but the scenes with smoking and underage drinking (though organic to the story) may cause objection. (District 13) Reviewer: Steven Kral

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9781616512767
Publisher:
Saddleback Educational Publishing
Publication date:
12/20/2010
Series:
District 13
Pages:
52
Product dimensions:
5.00(w) x 7.60(h) x 0.20(d)
Lexile:
HL60L (what's this?)
Age Range:
12 - 17 Years

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