Friday, December 10, 2010
Advance Reading Copy: Kick by Walter Dean Myers and Ross Workman
Late one night a witness sees a car careening about before it slams into a lightpole. The two young occupants of the car are no more than thirteen years old. The soccer-playing boy goes to juvie and the girl goes home. Will the girl’s father press charges? Set in suburban New Jersey and told in alternating chapters by the savvy Sergeant Brown and 14-year old Colombian-Irish-American Kevin, advance reading copies of this novel were snapped up by Passages’ students this week. Readers who appreciate the way Walter Dean Myers consistently and deftly weaves sports, a plot involving the threat of juvenile detention, young people coming of age, and themes of family, responsibility, and caring about others will find the satisfaction they’ve come to expect from this author and his co-author.
Two differences set this title apart from Myers’ multiple novels featuring 14-year-old male protagonists who wrestle with becoming adults while they play to win. The first difference is the sport; in Kick, soccer replaces Myers’ favorite athletic team endeavor, basketball. The second difference of note is fact that Mr. Myers co-wrote this book, unusually, with a teenage author, Ross Workman. Mr. Myers visited Passages Academy’s students here at Bridges this Wednesday, which provided a perfect opportunity to re-evaluate the appeal of a variety of his texts. Survey says: most of our students are interested in reading anything Walter Dean Myers has written.