Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Sneak preview: Kindness for Weakness by Shawn Goodman

Want to take a walk inside a secure detention center in New York state in the aughts?  Goodman captures the authentic details of the dynamics among staff and incarcerated youth to an uncanny degree.  Although Louis, the novel’s protagonist, is never sharply drawn enough to warrant the reader’s attachment, several supporting characters are, and in spite of the wan first fifty pages, once Louis gets on the bus heading upstate, the reader is undoubtedly along for the ride.  Students who have not yet experienced secure detention environments may appreciate the heads up or, perhaps, the history.  This novel could pair interestingly with Walter Dean Myers’ Monster or Lockdown, or the author’s previously published Something Like Hope. The text itself begs a reading of London’s classic, Call of the Wild.--Jessica Fenster-Sparber

Not yet published, due out May 2013 from Delacorte Press.

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