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Second in Command

4.32  ·  Rating details ·  34 ratings  ·  18 reviews
Sixteen-year-old Leo dreams of becoming an Eagle Scout and, someday, a police officer. He makes sure to always do the right thing and be responsible. With his mom deployed and his dad constantly working, Leo is often left in charge of his two younger siblings. Then Leo's brother, Jack, gets caught up in a dangerous plot that rocks the community. Can Leo keep his promise to ...more
Hardcover, 200 pages
Published February 1st 2019 by West 44 Books
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4.32  · 
Rating details
 ·  34 ratings  ·  18 reviews

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Luupi "The Reading Queen"
I don't give 5 stars easily so believe when I say Second in Command gave me so many emotions that now has a special place in my heart 💕

This book talks about what happens when one of the parents on a household leaves with the army, how the rest of the family deals with it and tries to carry on a normal life even though they know there is a vital member of the family missing.

The gem of Second in Command is my precious main character, Leo. This boy had the most pure intentions I've read, his only d
Triana (bibliomaniacism)
*I was given a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review*

"School is where you go to feel safe but what happens when it becomes a place of fear?"

this book is so timely with everything that's been going on, especially with this quote. It really spoke to me and touched my heart.

This book was super easy to read and super easy to understand, it really got it's message out there and I adored it!

I can't wait till more people are able to read this fantastic story.
Jan 26, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2019-reads, arcs
ARC Review: Received for free via Netgalley for an honest review. All opinions are my own.

I'm supposed to write a coherent review but all I had for 98% of the book was: F#ck. That's all I could get because this book just kept punching me in the gut, not letting me breathe. Like damn, can you let a person breathe Sandi Van!

And then that ending. Like punch me in the gut and then rip my heart out. But then pat it softly coz ugh, that ending! UGH!
Mar 06, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: ya
This book is full of beautiful writing and definitely packs an emotional punch. It's in verse, and you'll find that it's short--that's on purpose. It's meant for struggling readers who need higher level content. But it would also be enjoyable for other kids, and adults! It broke my heart and put it back together again on every page--in a good way. Highly recommend.
Carla Catalano
Dec 30, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: fiction, young-adult
This was incredibly well written and I read it early this year before it was officially released. The characters are relatable and I will definitely use with my struggling readers - especially 11th graders and ELLS. Compulsively readable! This book is an honest picture that touches on many issues facing teens today.
Toby Abrahamsen
Oct 25, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: arcs
3 1/2 stars Received a copy from Netgalley -

Good book for striving readers; engaging story told in an easy to read format.
Nov 14, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: ebooks, 2018, netgalley
Not what I expected ! When I received this I had no idea it was in verse, nor how short it was. So this review (and the 5 stars) is written from my inner (middle grade/junior high) child's point of view (probably 3 stars from an adult version of myself) . It was an easy read, easy to understand and it most definitely knows how to get a strong message across ! Perfect for those young ones looking to get into reading.

Thank you to NetGalley and Sandi Van for the ARC in exchange of an honest revi
Alyssa Chaney
Jan 26, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: netgalley
Check out this review and others at my blog Too Many Books!

A special thank you to Netgalley and West 44 Books for a free advance digital copy in exchange for a honest review.

I love verse novels and the raw emotions explored in this one make it a definite 5 star read. Leo is the eldest child and left mostly in charge of his younger siblings when his mom deploys and his father works. The emotions are very strong and really well explored, as Leo tries to balance his own needs and desires with his o
Julia Colangelo
Feb 27, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Excellent book. The poetic structure really helps to convey the emptiness and pressure that Leo feels when his mother is deployed. It's amazing how much character development is conveyed in so few words, the warmth of the family, the unsaid tension between father and son, etc. The verse format makes this book accessible for teens who struggle with reading with a fascinating story they can relate to. Definitely would recommend to teens and adults.
Joy Givens
Feb 16, 2019 rated it it was amazing
This book is solid, sincere, and strong from start to finish! Sandi Van's poetry feels as natural as the beats of Leo's running feet, and the heartstrings of this story keep pulling the reader from one page to the next. Leo walks the line of being a thoughtful, honorable protagonist, while Van's well-wrought angst keeps him from falling into do-gooder territory, and the plot is tight and deftly managed. Highly recommend, especially for readers who benefit from fewer words on the page.
Alanna Medina
Feb 06, 2019 rated it really liked it
I really enjoyed reading this book. Leo was such a strong main character. I loved how we got see how he handled the responsibilities of being the oldest child and how he dealt with his mom being deployed. And the ending was just the perfect way to finish the story.
Sarah Teremy
Feb 26, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Second In Command is a very easy and quick read which tells an emotional story that many military families can relate to. Very creative and highly recommended for young adults!!
Apr 10, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Excellent story telling via verse!! 🙂
Nov 22, 2018 rated it really liked it
Really good book. Would recommend.

It being written in verse makes it a breeze to get through. And it still manages to convey the feelings of family, loss, loyalty, confusion and commitment that a teen in these situations may face. It's a quick snapshot but it gives a good picture.

This is listed as a book for reluctant readers and I get why. I think it's a great starter for someone who finds reading to be daunting or uninteresting.
Sarah Avallone
Oct 27, 2018 rated it it was amazing
A great novel in verse for middle school and junior high! I can’t wait to share it with my 7th graders.
Jelke Lenaerts

This is a very quick read that I would highly recommend to a lot of people. The writting is very easy to get into which makes this important story more accesible to everyone. I'm glad I read this book because the experience of the main character isn't one I've ever read about but I know it's one that a lot of teens go through. The only problem I actually had with this book is the fact that I felt a bit emotionally detatched from the story. If you want
Adrienne Carrick
Mar 24, 2019 rated it it was amazing
It’s amazing how prose can convey such a beautiful story. What a talent to be able to pick the perfect words in the perfect sequence and affect your readers so intensely.
The Bookish Austin
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Nov 08, 2018
rated it it was amazing
Feb 26, 2019
rated it it was amazing
Feb 02, 2019
Renae McBrian
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Jan 20, 2019
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Mar 31, 2019
Mitzi Moshiri
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Apr 11, 2019
rated it it was ok
Apr 05, 2019
rated it it was amazing
Feb 08, 2019
Beth Bryden-miller
Verse novel. Mom is deployed, dad has to work long hours and Leo, our narrator, is pushed into a caregiver role for his younger brother and his baby sister. When his younger brother makes a poor decision, Leo is forced to wonder what happened and if he could have done better.

Quick read. Solid without being cheesy.
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Jan 01, 2019
rated it it was amazing
Feb 07, 2019
Roseann Podias
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Mar 12, 2019
Hope Reeve
rated it it was amazing
Apr 04, 2019
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