Zee's Way

( 1 )

Overview

It was a man with a baseball bat. "I thought I might find you here tonight," he said.

Zee and his friends are angry that their old haunt has been replaced by stores that are off-limits to them and storekeepers who treat them with distrust. To let the merchants know what he and his friends think, Zee paints graffiti on the wall of the hardware store. After the wall is repainted, Zee decides to repeat the vandalism, but this time with more artistic flair. A store owner catches him...

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Zee's Way

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Overview

It was a man with a baseball bat. "I thought I might find you here tonight," he said.

Zee and his friends are angry that their old haunt has been replaced by stores that are off-limits to them and storekeepers who treat them with distrust. To let the merchants know what he and his friends think, Zee paints graffiti on the wall of the hardware store. After the wall is repainted, Zee decides to repeat the vandalism, but this time with more artistic flair. A store owner catches him in the act and threatens to call the police-unless Zee agrees to repair the damage.

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Editorial Reviews

CM Magazine
“Butcher is a skillful writer who manages, in the space of 104 pages and with a vocabulary geared to a 3.2 reading level, to render a believable main character...Many young readers, but especially boys, will relate to the injustice of the adults’ attitudes and actions towards Zee and his friends.”
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"Speaks to the pitfalls of miscommunication and assumptions but also to the power of second chances...this story may resonate with teenagers who feel they are unfairly judged based on their appearance."
CM Magazine
"Butcher is a skillful writer who manages, in the space of 104 pages and with a vocabulary geared to a 3.2 reading level, to render a believable main character...Many young readers, but especially boys, will relate to the injustice of the adults' attitudes and actions towards Zee and his friends."
From The Critics
Loiterers, punks—these are the names hurled at the 15-year-old boys in Zee's gang by the merchants of Fairhaven Shopping Center. Unfair, discriminatory—retaliate the boys. A "war" is on, and Zee thinks he has the way to get the upper hand—paint graffiti on the wall of Feniuk's Hardware. Graffiti is Zee's statement of protest, to make the merchants aware they can't push the boys around. They want to enjoy the shopping center too. This was their place to roller blade and hang out before the strip mall was built. Zee's plan backfires. When Feniuk paints over the graffiti but keeps the picture Zee drew, he loses control of his art. Then when Feniuk catches him and makes him work to pay off his debt for the vandalism, Zee finds himself wanting to prove he is a real artist. In the process both sides begin to understand and respect each other. This novel, an easy-read for middle-grade students, explores the intergenerational conflict that often plagues relations between younger and older adults. In the end, both sides get beyond stereotypes and gain a bit of understanding—an important lesson in our conflictridden world. 2004, Orca Book, 104 pp., Ages young adult.
—Jeanne M. McGlinn
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781551432793
  • Publisher: Orca Book Publishers
  • Publication date: 4/1/2004
  • Series: Orca Soundings Series
  • Pages: 128
  • Sales rank: 1,369,315
  • Age range: 12 - 17 Years
  • Product dimensions: 4.25 (w) x 7.00 (h) x 0.30 (d)

Meet the Author

Kristin Butcher taught a variety of different subjects from primary school to high school before becoming an author. She credits her experience in the classroom with both helping her understand children and teens better, as well as making her a whiz at Trivial Pursuit. Kristin has always had a wild imagination and can't imagine that she'll ever run out of ideas for stories. Kristin lives in Campbell River, British Columbia. For more information, visit www.kristinbutcher.com.
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Read an Excerpt

I scrambled back to the sidewalk and started cramming everything into my pack. At least I tried to. But nothing wanted to go. Paint tubes squirted through my fingers; brushes got caught in the sidewalk cracks. My water bottle rolled away. And that's when I realized there was someone standing near the end of the wall. I looked up. My mouth went dry. It was a man with a baseball bat. "I thought I might find you here tonight," he said.

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Customer Reviews

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Sort by: Showing 1 Customer Reviews
  • Posted August 14, 2011

    more from this reviewer

    Graffit versus art

    Zee and his friends are known around town as a rough crowd. Colored hair, shaved head, tattoos, piercings--the guys sport all of them. A new mall has taken away the place they used to hang out, and now the shopkeepers in the new mall follow them whenever the guys enter stores. Zee takes to spray painting the exterior wall of one store and subsequently gets caught. In exchange for not being turned over to the police, Zee must work for the storekeeper. He realizes there may be a way for his friends and the shopkeepers to treat each other respectfully.

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