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4.11 of 5 stars 4.11  ·  rating details  ·  486 ratings  ·  94 reviews
There’s not much keeping Ian McDermott in Spokane, but at least it’s home. He’s been raising Sammy practically on his own ever since their mom disappeared again on one of her binges. They get by, finding just enough to eat and plenty of time to skateboard.

But at Morrison High, Ian is getting the distinct, chilling feeling that the administration wants him and his board an
Hardcover, 256 pages
Published October 10th 2006 by Knopf Books for Young Readers (first published 2006)
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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 1,046)
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I3ug fieler
This book is amazing. You will never guess what is going to happen next. You thinkyou know but you never will.
Reviewed: July 26, 2009

This book, Skate by Michael Harmon, has utterly swept me off my feet. Not only is it utterly tragic, but it's something that on one way or another, everyone can relate to. Things are never perfect at home & if someone dares say to me that they are or ever were, they're definitly lying. Fights, drug-addicted parents, parents that weren't there, only one parent; regardless what, it takes a tole on both the parent(s) & the children.

That was the type of thing th
Joseff Filamor
Skate by Michael Harmon, follows young skater Ian McDermott. While being a junior in highschool and juggling skateboarding with school work, Ian is also raising his younger brother, Sammy, while his Mom is out on her drinking binges. Both Sammy and Ian skate with each other during the free time. At school, Ian is hated by the majority of his teachers. He ends up punching and knocking out his coach. The stress end up being too much for him, which leaves him with only one choice; leave with Sammy ...more
The reason I chose this book i thought it was about skating but it turned into a whole different story and i liked it. This book is about a kid named Ian Mcdermmont his mom almost abbonded him so he now has to take care of his brother. Ian is scruggling in school yelling at teachers, he just got suspened because he punched his gym teacher in the face. He panicked and they ran away from home to try to find there dad in Oregon. Ian and his brother Sammy are almost to there dad and Sammy starts get ...more
Jennifer Wardrip
Reviewed by Mechele R. Dillard for

Fifteen-year-old Ian McDermott already has a tough life: He's never really known his father, his mother is a drug addict and spends most of her time on the streets, and he is left caring for his younger brother, Sammy. What he needs from "the system" is some help; what he gets is placed on a list of kids who the principal wants out of his school as soon as possible. And, when he takes a swing at Coach Florence and breaks his jaw, he knows that t
Joey Farmer
this book is about this kid his name is Ian he is a spohmore at Morrison high and he skateboards. He is one of the cool popular kids at his school that has a puck atitude and get all the girls. For his family life Hes dad leaves faraway and has ever been hurd of for awhile and for his mother she ran way becouse of one of there many fights he also has a little brother named sammy that he has to take care of becouse he has no one else that will. one day at Morrison high his Coach "Coach Florence" ...more
Tino Martinez
I thought it was an amazing book. It was a story of a 15 year old skater name Ian Mcdermont and his little brother Sammy Mcdermont. Their mom is a big drug addict and is almost never home forcing Ian to raise sammy himself. The administration wants him out of there school and have him by the neck. When something goes wrong him and Sammy have to leave Spokane and find the only other relative they can think of. It becomes a journey that leads them acroos the entire state of washington. To then fin ...more
Justin Hackett
I read this book for school a few weeks back.It was a very well written book about a troubled teen named Ian. The themes of independence and brotherhood are very apparent in this book. Textual evidence shows that Ian has to fend for himself because his mother is a drug addict and he does not have much information about his father.Ian must also care for his little brother named Sammy because he is all Sammy has. Ian has a temper problem that seems understandable from his point of view and outlook ...more
Karen DelleCava
I was immediately swept into the highly emotionally charged world of 15 year old skateboader, Ian McDermott, a decent kid who makes some bad decisions for the right reasons. He is raising his 10 year old brother, Sammy, as best he can in the absence of his father (who abandoned them before Sammy was born) while also trying to help his incompetent crack head mother. Ian is angry, frustrated and desperate to not become “a loser.” His high school administrators habitually harass him until he finall ...more
Andrea Murray
I really like this book. I've read Brutal by Michael Harmonby him, and when I saw this one, I thought it was a new book, but it is his first novel. The story was gritty, and his description of Ian's life is something every teacher needs to read. It puts life in perspective. I found the journey cross-country a little unrealistic, but the love between the brothers makes the novel truly inspiring. ...more
David Jin
This is Michael Harmon's best book. Its a bit longer, a bit more gritty and mature and real than the others. It also features the best of his protagonists. Ian is tough, smart, and a good guy. He and his bro Sammy make a good duo, and everyone will root for them as they journey to find their dad and save themselves from their wracked mother and her abusive boyfriends.

I ran through this book in a day because I was hooked. The writing was good and fairly simple (im 17, and this book is probably fo
From School Library Journal
Grade 8 Up–Ian McDermott doesn't have much going for him. He has basically raised himself and his young brother, who has fetal alcohol syndrome. Their mother is a deadbeat drug addict who makes rare appearances in their lives. At Morrison High School, things aren't much better; the administration wants him out. The thing is, Ian isn't going to take any guff from anyone. But one day, he loses his cool and ends up breaking Coach Florence's jaw. The teen knows that he and
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
This isn't a genre I read a lot of, but I enjoyed this book. It isn't what I would call a top-knotch book, but it was compelling enough to make me finish it in a hurry. (To find out what happens to the main character--not because I wanted it to be over fast. )

The story is about two brothers: fifteen year-old Ian and ten year-old Sammy. Ever since their father left them with their drug addict mother, Ian has been taking care of Sammy. (He picks him up from school, helps him with his homework, for
After reading "Skate" by Micheal Harmon, I was blown away. Words cannot describe how real and how raw this book is. The overall message of the story was understood at every angle. It was unpredictable to the point where you couldn't stop reading it. At one point, I honestly and truthfully thought I was reading a REAL STORY. It was amazing.

The book begins with Ian, the troubled teen that, well, hates the world and knows the world hates him back. In school he faces many problems such as ravenous P
Bobby Schumacher
This story was one of the best books i have personally ever read. It explains how a family fights to stay together. This book is about a boy named ian and his younger brother sam. What makes these to kids diffrent from everybody else is that they dont have a mom or dad. they are on there own in a big world while trying to get bye.

Ian is 15 years old and goes to highschool. his teachers dont no that he doesnt have any parents and just think hes a trouble maker. Ian works at a local store to help
Moni Smith
Aug 12, 2008 Moni Smith rated it 4 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: Middle School/High School boys.
Skate takes place in Spokane, WA (my hometown) and is about the troubles of a skater-punk kid name Ian. His mother is a drug addict and is never home, so Ian is left to take care of his little brother, Sammy. As you can imagine, this gets very difficult for Ian to deal with and he eventually gets into some trouble at school. He decides to run away to find his father who left them when they were young. He has an address in Walla Walla and that’s all he knows about him, but it’s his only chance at ...more
Nov 16, 2011 Ilan rated it 4 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: anybody who loves the Chris Crutcher and Ned Vizzini books about teen angst
Skate, by Michael Harmon surprised me grandly. I started this book just as a book I could say I was reading and could add to my booklist, but I learned to think of it otherwise. I opened the cover and automatically knew I was in for a treat. The characters were gripping, surprising, and REAL! Although I have never gone through anything even remotely close to what Ian and his brother had to grow up and deal with, I could understand everything they did and why they did it. I was glad to see that w ...more
Book Talk: Skate, By Michael Harmon
The book skate is about a kid named Ian. He has a very hard life his mother is a drug addict and spends most her time on the street and rarely comes and see her two kids.ian has to support his younger brother because he has no parents to do so. They never really knew their father he left after the younger brother was born. Sammy is his younger brother.
Ian gets into some trouble after making a couple of bad decisions all though his morals where good his actions
I really liked this book. At the beginning, I thought it was going to be about skating and all that,but it totally changes after Ian and his llitle brother Sammy runs away. Ian is a student who goes to Morrison High. He has a little brother named Sammy, whom Ian practically raised himself, because their mom is drug addict. Ian had the feeling that his school wants him gone eversince he had refused the offer to join a track and field team. He had been getting in all sorts of troubles, but he took ...more
Im in the 8th grade and this book was a great book.If you like the outsiders then you will like this book.They have a lot in common like the story lines.I think this book is better becuase im a skater also and sometimes i fell like him with the attitude and the got to get money.Also the story has some of a plot twist and the story is about finding thier father.SO this is my review and this book is amazing so i think you should read it
This started out as a good book. The kids are in trouble, the mom they have to live with is a druggie concerned more for her own habit than for their lives, and when the plot is undertaken, it is done so in a reasonable way. The kids really are trapped in a box, so why not try to track down Dad?

And that's where it starts to suck. Dad loves them still. Dad has all the money and power needed to act as their white knight and make everything A-OK. A good gritty story gets turned into wish fulfillme
Teenagers should not have to be responsible for putting food on the table, but Ian is responsible for that and so much more. He makes sure his younger brother gets to school on time and does his homework. Their mother has dropped deeper into the drug world, and they rarely see her. The rage is growing inside Ian, and usually when he and his brother skate it helps. But lately, the school has been pressuring Ian to conform, cut his spiked hair, get into sports and when the administration says he m ...more
George Ilsley
A young adult novel with some harsher themes and circumstances. The kids do some pretty horrendous things (assault) and their mother is basically a crack whore, so the grittiness factor is certainly well on display. However, true to the genre, everything works out and lessons are learned. This was the main difficulty with the book, is that the plot was taken to far (assaulting a teacher AND a police officer) and yet the ending managed to have all being forgiven. Sadly, school boards in the lawsu ...more
A completely gripping read, SKATE is one of those books that just stays with you.

15 year old Ian McDermott is a good kid, stuck in a very bad situation. He’s struggling the best he can to take care of himself and his 10 year old (slower) brother Sammy. But between Ian’s own temper and bad boy/poor kid image, his brothers learning disabilities, a long gone father and a drug addicted mostly MIA mother, who’s usually off whoring herself to support her habit or worse, bringing her creepy suppliers
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
I just could not put this book down. The plot was well written and everything felt so real. I really enjoyed that there was not much of a "love story" part in the book like many, many other YA books have.
this was pretty gritty, but the narrator was so accessible that it really took the harsher edges off the story. i actually grew pretty fond of the little punk, and was pleased with the ending he got, even though parts of it felt like a cop-out. (i might even go so far as to call him holden-esque, at least in attitude, and well, we all know that i'm inordinately fond of holden caulfield.)

on a somewhat related note, what is the deal with troubled boys who run away and find peace living on farms? t
don't really know how I fell about this book. I pretty much read it in one sitting, which doesn't happen often. I also really liked the ending. too many books that I've been reading, I feel, have had endings that were too vague and open-ended, leaving me to wonder how the story would continue and not giving me enough to have any idea (whichc is certainly at the top of the list of story qualities I hate.) this story however did not,while it did not give a strictly concrete ending, it left enough ...more
I love this book! It's one I can read over and over again and never get bored of it.Really encourage anyone to read it!
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Aiossa's 12/13 Se...: book review 1 5 Sep 27, 2012 08:24PM  
Book review 2 4 Sep 27, 2012 08:21PM  
Book review 1 1 Sep 27, 2012 08:18PM  
Billy Sippel, Skate, Book Review 1 2 Sep 26, 2012 06:17PM  
yo bro 2 16 Feb 17, 2009 06:00AM  
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“I'd never seen a guy get the shit kicked out of him without a punch being landed, but there's a first time for everything, and my father had shown how to do it. Principle Spence offered nothing in return.” 3 likes
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