Suzanne's Reviews > Lockdown
Perhaps more of a 2.75--how's that for hedging? The story is fairly obvious, no surprises, could be construed as didactic, but wouldn't it make sense for a juvie-based novel to have a message: don't do crimes and don't end up in jail? Well, this one has that message, and it's a good one, but I wish the characters beyond the protagonist had interested me a bit more. On the other hand, it's a pretty good pick for reluctant readers who will be interested in the day-to-day of life and fights inside for 14-year-old Reese, his work program at an old-folks home where he meets a dying man named Mr. Hooft, and the little sister that helps to motivate him to be one of the small percentage of kids like him--black, poor, with screwed up parents--who can make it and live straight after doing juvie time. There are some bad-asses in Progress who want to jump in or beat up a small Indian kid, and Reese has some hard decisions to make about how much he can help the little dude they call Toon without screwing up his own chances of getting out and getting home. The situations seem fairly realistic with the exception of a lack of teen and street language, but I guess that makes it pretty much clean enough for middle school and not much of a library shelf wave-maker.
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