Wednesday, April 14, 2010

The Juvie Three - Gordon Korman

I rely on my friend Sara, a middle school teacher, to give me tips on what the kids at her school are reading. She sent this one my way, thinking it would also interest me given the subject matter. The Juvie Three is the story of three boys in juvenile hall, Arjay, Terrance, and Gecko. They are given a second chance through Healy, who is running a half-way house in New York City. The boys move there - a couple committed to taking advantage of this new opportunity, another who has all but given up on himself. As the struggle to fit in at their new public school, Healy finds himself in the hospital, struggling himself with memory loss. Desperate not to get sent back to juvenile hall, the boys are forced to band together and figure out a way out of the mess. With a little romance thrown in, as well as some dangerous influences, this is a simplified version of the difficulties kids can get into, even when they have the best of intentions. It is a quick read with incident after incident that would probably hold the attention of a young reader. Given the serious subject matter, however, I was a bit disappointed in the flip approach taken, but it does have the very appealing to kids plot-device of reckless youth left on their own in the big city without an adult figure to guide them.

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