Monday, November 15, 2010

Ten Mile River by Paul Griffin

Ray’s book smarts and Jose’s street smarts make them a bit of an odd couple. But their shared experiences in foster care and juvenile detention have forged a strong friendship between the two, one in which both are able to demonstrate survival skills. This amazing first novel from author Paul Griffin chronicles 14-year-old Ray and 15-year-old Jose’s experience living on the streets and on their own. An attention grabbing opening scene, in which the boys are paid by a local auto body shop owner to smash windshields, and the authentic dialogue immediately draw Passages’ students into this coming-of-age tale. The boys’ brief stint at “Spofford” provides an immediate text-to-self connection for our readers. The novel continues to explore themes of friendship, loyalty, love, morality, and family, offering endless discussion opportunities for literature circles. Passages Academy students at Crossroads are enthusiastically reading Ten Mile River in preparation for an upcoming visit from Paul Griffin before Thanksgiving. --Anne Lotito Schuh

Griffin, Paul. Ten Mile River. New York: Penguin, 2008.

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