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3.77  ·  Rating Details  ·  283 Ratings  ·  72 Reviews
Noah and his friends go to a predominantly white neighborhood with a plan: steal a car, sell it to a chop shop, and make some fast cash. But that never happens. Instead, Noah, a teen father, is the victim of a vicious beating that leaves him with a fractured skull. Was the attacker just protecting his turf, or did he assault Noah because he?s black? Awardwinning author Pau ...more
Hardcover, 160 pages
Published February 19th 2009 by Viking Books for Young Readers (first published February 12th 2009)
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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 672)
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Jennifer Wardrip
Aug 12, 2009 Jennifer Wardrip rated it really liked it
Reviewed by Sally Kruger aka "Readingjunky" for

Noah has grown up in East Franklin, a predominately black area. One night when he and two friends decide to head on over to nearby Hillsboro (about 95% white) to boost a car, life changes dramatically.

The three friends never get to commit their intended crime because they run into three white teens bent on keeping their neighborhood free of blacks. The white boys verbally abuse and threaten Noah and his friends, and it's when they b
Dec 03, 2010 Gregc rated it it was amazing
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
May 31, 2010 Briony rated it liked it
Shelves: ya, realistic, urban
Growing up and living in small, safe and pleasant communities for most of my life, I saw this book as an antithesis of my life but one that needs to read and understood. Volponi gives a voice to the other side of the town, where the nice roads end and where buildings are disintegrating. The side that I have too have driven past and ignored because it was not part of my life. However, after reading Response, I questioned my morals and society’s. One particular question was, “We are infuriated and ...more
Feb 24, 2009 Tasha rated it really liked it
Shelves: teen
Volponi does it again with another short novel that is fast paced and filled with hard-to-answer ethical questions. Noah and his friends go to an Italian-American neighborhood to steal a Lexus. Before they are able to, they are jumped by three boys who shout racial epithets and beat Noah's head in with a baseball bat. Noah survives the attack and finds himself at the center of a racial controversy. Was the other boy right to defend their community from theft? Or was Noah and his friends targeted ...more
May 03, 2011 Kevin rated it it was amazing
Response by Paul Volponi is a book about three African Americans, a teen father named Noah and his two friends Asa and Bonds who go to a nearly all white neighborhood with the intentions of stealing a car. Everything seems to go smooth, until they are almost caught, so they flee with no car at all and decide to grab a slice instead. At Mario’s pizza Noah and his friends are confronted with three Italian teens that start yelling racial slurs, Noah isn’t looking for trouble and they best decide t ...more
Paul Volponi's latest novel, Response, takes on the dilemma of a hate crime in a racially divided community. Three African American teens go into Hillsboro, mostly white and Italian, to steal a car and make quick money. The car theft never happens, but as the boys walk home, they are chased by three white teens in a black Land Rover. Asa and Bonds, run for their lives, never looking back. If they did, they would have seen that their friend, Noah, tripped, and fell flat on the sidewalk. With a me ...more
Sep 15, 2009 Mokamonkey rated it really liked it
Shelves: teen-books
One of the best things about Volponi's books is that they really make you think about social and racial issues and question the way that you look at the world. At first when I read that the main character was the victim of a hate crime, but that he had been in a white neighborhood to commit a crime, I thought - "Why did he have to muddle it with that distinction." But thinking about it further, I think that just strengthens the story, because it makes you get out of your comfort zone of clear ri ...more
Jul 30, 2009 Robin rated it liked it
So far this book is every bit as good as "Black and White," the previous book by the same author that I've read.

7/29: During our discussion at the YART meeting someone felt this was a bit heavy handed in its portrayal of racism but, unfortunately, I think it's all too true that we still live in a society where people are judged by the color of their skin. It's sad but true and this book about three African American teens who venture into a predominantly white neighborhood to steal a car and end
May 19, 2009 Clint rated it it was ok
Shelves: juvenile-fiction
I tagged this book as juvenile fiction, but after getting through to the ending, it seems a strange label for a book with almost as much obscene language, violence and over-the-top racial bickery as I see in some of the crime/noir that I read. Yes, at the end, some minds were changed, and some amount of good came out of all the muck, but for a novel targeted towards juveniles, was it really all necessary?

I've read a lot of juvenile fiction that has conquered difficult, mature issues, and many of
Erin Sterling
A black teenage father, Noah, burdened by the financial responsibilities of raising a child while also trying to graduate and go to college makes a stupid decision: to steal a car from the wealthy, all-white neighborhood. What he gets instead is a beating and a fractured skull. Was he the victim of a racist hate crime, as his neighborhood believes as they rally behind him, or a dumb criminal who got caught? A brutally honest portrayal of inner-city neighborhoods torn apart by poverty, race, and ...more
May 13, 2015 Mike rated it it was amazing
it was a very good boom i enjoyed reading it
May 21, 2009 Libriar rated it liked it
I really wanted to like this book. The overall story was good and will make for good discussion. What I didn't like was the switching to newspaper articles, interviews, etc. I felt like the author was trying a technique to make the title appeal to reluctant readers that ended up being a bit too jarring and unnatural for me because so much of the book was not written that way. I did have a headache while I was reading this book though so maybe that's clouding my judgement. This title should still ...more
Chris Cinque
Jan 03, 2012 Chris Cinque rated it it was amazing
The book response by Paul Volponi, reminded me of the outsiders. It was a about a boy named Noah, an african american that lives in a mostly white town. He and two of his friends plan to steel a car from an all white neighbor hood, but people see them and take a baseball bat to Noah and his friends heads and Noah ends up with a fractured skull. This book is about steeling and gangs and a lot of similar things as the outsiders. I loved this book and recommend it to anyone that loved the outsiders ...more
Michael Simpson
Mar 18, 2016 Michael Simpson rated it really liked it
I read the book Response by Paul Volponi. This book was a great book because it kept be aware and I just wanted to keep reading. When I started this book I didn't think I was going to like it that much. When I got to about the middle of the book I didn't want to put it down until I finished it. I think this book was very well thought out and well written because everything was like it would happen in real life. I liked how it took you into the lives of everyone that was involved and it was very ...more
May 25, 2009 Wendy rated it liked it
I liked the sweet portrait of teen dad and baby daughter, and the flawed protagonist; but otherwise, the courtroom scenes weren't nearly as compelling as what I'd hoped for, and this seems very dated (unless, possibly, it's historical fiction and I missed it, but I don't think so). I mean, one of the Italian-American characters asks why the black kids at their school can't be more like the people on The Cosby Show and less like the ones on Good Times. Sure, there're reruns, but come on.
Oct 30, 2014 Benny rated it really liked it
I liked this book because the author explains everything in details. Noah and his friends go to a white neighborhood and they try to steal a car for cash. However that didn't work out as planned, because someone came out and beat up Noah and cracked his skull with a bat, which sent Noah to the hospital. The police are unaware that Noah and his friends were initially trying to steal the mans car who beat him up and put him in the hospital. There is a lot of overlapping in the story on who is the ...more
Sep 23, 2009 Jerjonji rated it it was amazing
Shelves: young-adult
This is the author that is closer to what I write than any other YA author. His writing makes you look at both sides, changes you from your encounter with it, and feels real. Off to find more of his books to read in the upcoming week- Penquin- VIking House Press- for some reason that matters right now!

The story of a young wanna be car thief attacked by a bat is one I'll not forget right away!
Richard Williams
Nov 18, 2014 Richard Williams rated it it was amazing
Growing up in a very bad city surrounded by a lot of drug dealers and thieves I learned how to keep myself out of trouble even though I had friends that were bad influences on me. Reading this book gave me a visual about what could happen to me if I end up in the streets. I know that I wont end up in the streets, all I have to do is keep my mind right. To be completely honest i'm just another young black kid surrounded by a lot of people that i don't like. Even though I was born in a place where ...more
Mar 26, 2009 Kfinney rated it it was ok
Three African American teens plan to steal a Lexus from white neighborhood. They don't actually pull it off, but on the way home from trying, they are attacked by a group of white teens. Main character - who is also a teen father and works at McDonalds - is viciously beaten with a bat. DA office prosecutes as a hate crime.
One of the things I like about Shelfari is that I get suggestions from other members. This is one of those books and authors that I might not have found on my own. A short but powerful story about racism, hatred and choices. It seems to be such a typical black-white hatred and who will be best story, but the fact that the author has worked with students in these situations adds validity. I liked the way the book was written and that it was an uncomfortable story. "Consequences because of our cho ...more
Sep 17, 2009 Alicia rated it really liked it
Volponi always has a great "boy" book, especially for urban kids that deal with black versus white. Almost all of Volponi's works deal with race and race issues, and this book is no different. But, in thise case, a white boy is accused of hitting a black boy over the head with a baseball bat.
Zach! Heil
Apr 10, 2009 Zach! Heil rated it liked it
Teen Fiction- This is a good book for reluctant readers, the story sucks you in quick with a lot of drama and action. The book is centered around racial tensions in an urban setting. The main character is a teen boy with many grown up responsibilities.
Nancy H
Feb 10, 2010 Nancy H rated it really liked it
Volponi has his finger on the pulse of today's youth. In this story, he shows what racism and violence can do to teens and families. This book has already been in high demand in my library.
Nov 27, 2009 Kayla rated it it was amazing
This book really made me realize that there is still racial discremination in the world. and a lot of it. I mean a kid gets smushed in the head with a baseball bat. What more do you want?
Gabriel Cravedi
Nov 11, 2014 Gabriel Cravedi rated it it was amazing
This book was awesome in many ways. This could relate to my life here in Hartford, just instead of the racial conflicts, it's gang conflict instead. Second, this book teaches me a lot of things about what's, unfortunately still going on in other parts of the USA. Being aware of the world is always a good thing to know because if you know what's going on, you wont be surprised when it happens to you. I also love the fact that this book made me realize that speaking out can put an end to some thin ...more
Jason Alvord
Jun 10, 2014 Jason Alvord rated it it was amazing
I gave this book a perfect score mainly because I NEVER once got bored during this book. I think this book should be one of the books required to be read in classes because of the lessons you learn and what you can pull from it. This book was different from others that I read because it was actually exciting in the beginning. I love these types of books so I guess my review is slightly bias.

Almost everything about this book was interesting to read and I found myself unable to put the book down m
Apr 04, 2010 Terry rated it liked it
Shelves: thin-reads
Great cover and opening scene, both of which could hook teen readers. Slows down a bit as the characters are introduced, but this allows some genuinely touching scenes. This is a straightforward look at racism, complete with an attack, a remarkably quick recovery, and a trial. And yet, some characters are more nuanced than you'd expect in a 150 page story.

I liked this more than the last Volponi I read, The Hand You're Dealt because the pace moved along faster and the conflict is a bit more sensi
Janel Rodriguez
Mar 28, 2013 Janel Rodriguez rated it liked it
Noah grew up in an all black community and was a black teenager struggling in school with a kid and a low paying job.One day Noah and his friends decided to go to the so called "white side of town" to boost a car.Noah comes to realize that life starts to change way to fast.
Noah and his friends never stole the car and on the way back to the neighborhood they found themselves victims of a bashing.They encounter white kids and Noahs friends managed to get away but Noah got his head bashed in with a
Jan 12, 2011 Josh rated it really liked it
Shelves: young-adult
This is a book about the ramifications of a hate crime on the individuals involved. Noah Jackson lives in East Franklin, a mostly African-American neighborhood, that sits only a few miles from a mostly white neighborhood called Hillsboro. Noah and his friends decide to go to Hillsboro to steal a car and sell it to a chop shop to make a quick buck. Once they arrive in Hillsboro they quickly become nervouse and decide not to go through with the heist. They then go to a pizza shop for a slice and m ...more
Aug 23, 2011 Ken rated it liked it
Shelves: ya, finished-in-2011
Ready? Inhale! That's it. Like a short story, it's done, and then you can write your Response here. At 145 pp., this one's a slim jim, a hate crime meant to instruct, starring a young black man (teen father) who starts off going into a white neighborhood to heist a Lexus and winds up meeting the fat end of a baseball bat -- the kind swung by a white racist.

For its size, the book manages to provide some good characterizations of a few of its players. Also, as you might expect, it suffers a few st
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