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3.88 of 5 stars 3.88  ·  rating details  ·  75 ratings  ·  10 reviews
"You don't just walk into the tribe, pal. First you've got to pass the test."
Kevin thinks gangs are stupid - he's never going to join one but events spiral out of control when he's caught up in a gang fight and the tribe comes to his rescue. It isn't easy to join the tribe - but, as Kevin discovers when it's almost too late, it's far harder to leave.
Paperback, 138 pages
Published 2001 by Barrington Stoke
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Feb 10, 2012 Den rated it 3 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: struggling readers
Shelves: 2012, teen
I really enjoyed this book. I started it to see which kids it would appeal to at school and really got into it and the characters. Although Kevin doesn't want anything to do with gangs as he sees them as stupid, when he is chased by one gang and rescued by another he rather relieved. He goes along with the gang as he wants to be the first to tell his friend and sister all about the initiation trial but after he's done it, he feels he can't tell anyone. Although lots of people seem wary of Salom, ...more
Ailsa Mackay
Aimed at 8-10 year olds, Cathy McPhail has combined a fast paced, tense drama with believable and engaging characters. She addresses a range of issues relevant to her target age group (the appeal of gangs, friendship, the impact of a dysfunctional family background, questions of trust) and has created a thrilling page turner with plenty of scope for interesting classroom discussions.
Definitely written for KS3 children (about ages 9-11), but the exploration of gangs and what makes them so attractive and all consuming was very well-done.

Bullying, dysfunctional home lives, wacky line-dancing parents, and don't forget the gang leader, Salom, who is mysterious and may not be what he seems.

A quick read, but probably not worth a shot for older readers. For kids definitely recommended but be prepared to discuss some issues ;)

Thought provoking book for key stage 3 readers. Most should be able to identify with the main character and the tensions explored in the story. Plenty of meat for class discussion although I will think carefully about how to approach the subject of bullies and the possibility of their difficult home lives.
Iona Sinclair
Despite its size (and that its targeted at a slightly younger audience) I cannot get over how much I love this book. It's one of the best books I've ever read. The characters are amazing, and the ending left me...speechless. Not to mention that the cover is so amazing.
Mrs Shields English teacher
Just finished this book- its in the school library it you want to read it. It was recommended to me as being a great book for year 8. I think it's an excellent story but wondered what your opinion was? Plot drive so I don't think you'd get bored.
Definitely not the types of "gangs" I'm used to reading, but it really made me think about what it is about gangs that is so appealing. This book gave me some interesting insights.
Tulani White
This book made me feel very weird, almost nervous it made me feel something I've never felt before I don't know if it was the mystery of the tribes or what but I thoroughly enjoyed it.
Matthew Don
A well-written page turner that conveys gasps from it's target audience with ease; and the adults. It really was eagerly thrilling.
why he was tempted to join the gang
Sarah marked it as to-read
Nov 26, 2014
Jennifer Johnston
Jennifer Johnston marked it as to-read
Nov 15, 2014
Kathryn Gordon-heveran
Kathryn Gordon-heveran marked it as to-read
Nov 06, 2014
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Beth Shirley marked it as to-read
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Aug 24, 2014
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Amy Snow O'Connell marked it as to-read
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