Things have changed since Raedawn and Vince started going out and the racial boundaries in town have slipped a bit. But when Dune, who never took sides, disappears, Raedawn is determined to find out where he has gone—or what happened to him. Fighting against ignorance and hate, they track Dune down and find he is in more trouble than they thought and that nothing is black and white.
About the Author
Sylvia Olsen is the author of many books and has been nominated for and won numerous awards. She has spent most of her life living in theTsartlip First Nation, where her children and grandchildren now live. Sylvia usually writes for children and young adults about the place between cultures where Canada's First Nations and settlers come together. She is also a storyteller who loves to work with young people to help them find their written and spoken voice. Sylvia is the mother of four and grandmother of seven. She lives in North Saanich near Victoria, British Columbia. For more information, visit www.sylviaolsen.ca.
Read an Excerpt
The seating on the bus is different this year. That's because Raedawn and I and Sherry and Steve crossed the line.
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
Vince and Raedawn investigate what happened to a missing classmate in a racially divided town. Middle Row tries to tackle us/them mentalities as well as a separation of ¿the other¿ within a community. This is no easy feat to accomplish in about one hundred pages at a reading level of 2.4. As an Orca Soundings novel, this book is packaged as a high-action contemporary young adult mystery but reads in a simplistic and sometimes stilted manner. Olsen attempts to convey complicated relationships and feelings with a few simple words or carried by straightforward dialogue. Each character has various traits and relationships to others drawn out, but they are not fully developed or expanded upon due to length and syntax restrictions. Also, the text uses some Canadian dialect, which may initially throw off an American reading audience who may not be familiar with certain terms. This is a very specifically hi-lo styled novel and as such, is only recommended to the specific audience of reluctant readers ages twelve to fifteen with the targeted reading level.
The cover pic should be enough to interest most YA readers; however, adults, don't panic, the subject matter is quite tame.
Vince and Raedawn have been riding the same bus to school their entire lives. There is a social seating hierarchy involved in most bus riding, and theirs is no exception. There are the back seat riders - usually the cool kids, and the front seat riders - usually the less secure or nerdy type.
The middle rows can be easily ignored and that is just the problem when Dune suddenly stops riding the bus. There are only two people who even notice that the quiet loner has not gotten on the bus since the first day of school, and they also seem to be the only ones concerned.
Raedawn convinces Vince that something needs to be done. They start asking questions - of the bus driver, the school counselor, and then the administration. No one knows anything and the tendency is to brush the whole issue under the rug. Finally, Raedawn enlists the help of her Uncle Dave, and long-hidden secrets begin to emerge.
MIDDLE ROW provides a mystery that unfolds at a fast pace in this 100-page book. Readers will easily become intrigued by the missing Dune, as well as the personal stories connected to Vince, Raedawn, and Uncle Dave. An added criminal element also helps hold the attention of most readers.