Cut from AAA hockey last season, seventh-grader Hudson Pickle needs to make the basketball team this year. But, after having an asthma attack at the first tryout, his chances aren't looking good. His former best friend, Trevor, is also trying out. But he won't even speak to Hudson since Hudson had all but ignored him while concentrating on hockey. And as if that wasn't bad enough, now his uncle Vic who's been staying with him and his mom since a suspicious fire at his house has been diagnosed with a genetic respiratory illness. Could this mean Hudson has something worse than asthma? And while this DNA mystery is being unraveled, will the truth about what happened to his father finally be revealed as well?Yolanda Ridge's compelling coming-of-age novel for middle-graders combines humor, action and mystery with a dose of genetic science to keep things interesting. It offers a rich reading experience with complex characters and a multilayered story. Thoughtful, authentic and likeable Hudson will inspire readers with the grit and perseverance he relies on to get through his difficulties, and the self-deprecating wit he uses to manage middle-school social dynamics, evolving friendships and a changing family structure. There are also multiple mysteries running throughout the story involving Hudson's father, his uncle and his own health that are sure to keep the pages turning.
About the Author
Yolanda Ridge worked as a genetic counselor before becoming a writer a background which helped to inform and enrich Hudson Pickle's character and story. She is also the author of two previous middle grade novels, Trouble in the Trees and Road Block. She lives in Rossland, British Columbia.
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
Hudson Pickle is a teenage boy struggling with growing up; he has a growth spurt that no only has him towering over his friends, it gets him cut from the hockey team, his favorite sport and the one thing that he thinks identifies him. He also has no idea who his father is and while it might not have been an issue in years past, it is becoming more and more important to him to know who he was and what he was like. His mom wants to protect him from the realities of life and Hudson feels like he is old enough to have his questions answered. He is not a little kid and resents being treated like one. (Despite the friction between Hudson and his mother, it does not create a rift between them that cannot be bridged). Ridge does a really good job of writing in the voice of a seventh grade boy who is trying to figure out who he is, friendships that change, his mom and girls. There is of course the bully that Hudson and his friend Trevor must deal with and I really like how Ridge shows the duo dealing with him and realizing that he is not someone to fear and how they stand up for themselves. The ending was pretty good: Hudson finds a new sport to love and has repaired his friendship with his best friend, and yet, it felt like there is more to Hudson's story. This is definitely a book that I would let my son read: drug use, bullying, lying are dealt with in the book but done in a way that one, doesn't glorify the activities and two, opens the door to discussions on these issues that teens today are facing. Talking about them through a fictional character is one of the best ways to broach the subject in a way that is safe and allows them to open up in a way that is less threatening than talking about real-life people they know. I received an eARC of this book from the publisher. This is my honest review.