by Janet Eoff Berend


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Vertical by Janet Eoff Berend

Skateboarder Josh Lowman witnesses one of the best skateboarders in town (the local bully) commit a crime. For days he agonizes over whether to tell anyone. Meanwhile, his friendships with a fellow skater (who is debating whether to drop out of school), a beautiful girl in his class (who loves to read, and seems to like Josh), and a cool math tutor (a college student who skates) slowly steer him toward a new kind of courage.

Josh has a mesmerizing narrator's voice; he rattles off a vacuous Valley-speak while slowly coming into his own, intellectually and morally. There is a hint of Holden Caufield about him. Vivid descriptions of skateboarding throughout the book will keep any skateboarder glued to the page. And a plot that rolls ahead constantly will maintain the reader's attention, while intermittently sneaking in a few lessons from English and math class, which serve to advance the story. (References to math in skateboard ramp design; plus small epiphanies from Lord of the Flies, Antigone, and Of Mice and Men.) Josh starts out as a school-hating dude and slowly comes around to seeing that he can skate and be smart . . . and a decent person.

Vertical will be loved by kids and by parents and teachers.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781891369988
Publisher: Breakaway Books
Publication date: 08/28/2012
Pages: 160
Sales rank: 1,208,151
Product dimensions: 8.80(w) x 5.90(h) x 0.40(d)
Age Range: 11 - 15 Years

About the Author

Janet Berend has taught English and Creative Writing at La Costa Canyon High School in Carlsbad, California for the past fifteen years

Table of Contents

Rat Traps 7
Nobody Likes a Rat 11
Falling 18
Earthquake Drills 21
Maximum Brotherhood 23
One-Two Punch 29
Bright Horizons 33
Word of the Day 36
Different Directions 43
Restoration of Broken Parts 47
Antigone 50
Initiation 54
Solo 63
Grace Is Sick 67
Obscure 73
Stupid Shoe 80s Little Tremors 83
The Big One Hits 86
Ice Chips 89
Passing Gas 91
Squeaky Shoes 94
Sick 96
Yoda 99
Men and Mouses 103
Pull the Trigger 106
Leaving 110
Sucky Endings 111
Puzzle Pieces 113
Lost in the Wilderness 116
Preparing for Battle 119
Slaying the Beast 121

Questions for Discussion 124
Glossary of Skating Terms 126
About the Author 128

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