The Fight

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The Fight

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Editorial Reviews

Children's Literature - Kristi Bernard
Isabel, or Bella, is a student at South Side High School. On the way to her favorite class, taught by Ms. Weller, who is her favorite teacher, she hears the word "faggot" being shouted at a classmate named Dominic. It was Jay, and he was bullying and pushing Dominic against a locker. Bella's hope was that Ms. Weller would intervene, but she did not. This concerned Bella, especially since there have been numerous accounts of bullying against kids who were suspected of being gay and religious groups encouraging students to lead a straight life. Bella decides to help if she can and in her efforts joins a group called the GSA, or gay-straight alliance. But when Dominic commits suicide his secret is out and Bella finds the courage to ask her parents for help with the PTA. It is too late for Dominic, but with her new found alliance it will be up to Bella to make sure no one else is hurt. Bella's mission is to teach tolerance by getting faculty, students, and parents involved. Parents and teachers will find that this story is an excellent teaching tool for tolerance. Opening up dialogue for young readers is important and the characters in this story could be any student at any school. The underlying tone will have readers engaged and looking inside themselves. Although this content is of a serious nature it is a book for any middle grade reader. The language is easy to comprehend. Reviewer: Kristi Bernard
VOYA - Teri S. Lesesne
The Surviving Southside series features high-interest, low-reading level urban fiction. Students who struggle with text will appreciate the short chapters and fast-paced action in each. The covers, featuring a diversity of characters, will also provide appeal. The Fight tackles the issue of establishing a GSA at a school when school board policy seems to have a negative impact on the LGBT bullying taking place. A handful of students attempt to address this situation by changing policy following the suicides of several gay youth in the school district. Overexposed centers on texting when a couple fights and the guy texts a racy picture of his ex-girlfriend to the rest of the school. Who is responsible in this situation? How can the teen return to the school where everyone looks at her askance? Sports injuries take center stage in Full Impact as one student takes a few too many blows to the head on the football field. Each book, though, contains at least one error that a more careful editing job might have fixed prior to publication. Dialogue in one book is attributed to the wrong character. In another, a word missing from a sentence will be confusing. Because of the truncated length, do not look for an in-depth examination of any issues. Have some suggestions for other YA novels addressing these issues ready, however, for readers who will gobble up these titles. (Surviving Southside) Reviewer: Teri S. Lesesne
Kirkus Reviews
Teens at Texas' ethnically diverse Southside High fight an anti-gay school policy after incidents of homophobic bullying. When her teacher witnesses an act of anti-gay violence in the school hallway and refuses to intervene, Bella--short for Isabel--is horrified. Even though Dominic, the student being bullied, downplays the incident when Bella asks him about it, Bella feels called to action. When she decides to join the school's Gay-Straight Alliance, however, she discovers the club only exists unofficially. Zoe, one of the students involved, explains, "There's something going on....The teachers are totally freaked out about anything having to do with gay people." Readers who remember The Alliance (2013), set at Southside a year earlier, will recognize the district's "neutrality policy" as the reason teachers refuse to intervene in homophobic bullying or even teach works by queer creators such as Langston Hughes, James Baldwin, Countee Cullen, Claude McKay or Aaron Copland. Here, Bella and Zoe uncover the policy and launch a community-wide battle against it. Although the story is bare-bones short, the characters are well-drawn, and there is room for nuance. Bella is interested in a female classmate, June, but what that means about her sexuality is left refreshingly ambiguous. An inspiring tale, simply told. (Fiction. 12-16)
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781467707091
  • Publisher: Darby Creek Publishing
  • Publication date: 5/28/2013
  • Series: Surviving Southside Series
  • Pages: 127
  • Sales rank: 389,859
  • Age range: 12 - 17 Years
  • Product dimensions: 5.20 (w) x 7.50 (h) x 0.30 (d)

Meet the Author

Elizabeth Karre is a writer who lives in St. Paul, Minnesota.

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