Thursday, December 07, 2006

Skate

Harmon, Michael. 2006. Skate.

No doubt about it, Ian McDermott is a troubled teen. A teen raising his brother who’s in fourth grade while their mother vanishes for weeks on end doing drugs and prostituting herself. This is a family in crisis. Searching for pocket change to feed himself and his brother is a daily chore. One of the heartbreaking scenes in the book is when the reader sees him with three dollars cash go to the store and buy a can of tuna and a box of tuna helper. He starts preparing supper and while it’s cooking they go for a skateboard ride in the neighborhood. The boys return to find their mother drugged out and her drug-dealer boyfriend eating their supper unrepentantly. When Ian says that was the only food in the house and he only has seventy cents to his name, his mother shrugs it off and the drug-dealer gets angry. Ian goes back to the store to buy a can of soup. He and his brother eat while hiding in the shed in the backyard while his mother and her drug-dealer do drugs all night. But his problems extend past his home life. His difficulties at school are mainly with the “authority.” He has an administration determined to transfer him if he’ll go quietly or expel him if he protests. His crime? He doesn’t “fit in” with the school’s image. He takes the second or third meeting with the administration relatively calmly. True, he’s angry and he says a few things he shouldn’t have said. But he’s on his way out. He knows that they won’t let him stay. But then he has a confrontation with one of the coaches. The coach is antagonizing him, provoking him, grabbing him. Ian loses it and hits him in the jaw. Then he’s gone. He runs. He flees picking up his younger brother on the way out of town. Now the boys are on the run from the law with very few friends and no cash.

Skate is the journey of a young man to the dark side and back. His determination NOT to be who people want him to be--a mindless street thug drawn to drugs and violence--is strong. His love for his brother is an incredible force. And the book as a whole is a reminder that you shouldn’t judge others based on appearances and first impressions. People can and will surprise you.

0 comments:

Post a Comment

I'm always happy to hear from you! To help fight spam, comment moderation has been set up for posts older than two days. Feel free to ask me questions or ask for recommendations!

Review Policy

I am interested in reviewing books and audio books. This blog focuses on books written for middle grade on up (essentially 10 to a 110). I review middle grade fiction and young adult fiction (aka tween and teen).

I also review adult books.

I read in a variety of genres including realistic fiction, historical fiction, mystery, romance, science fiction, fantasy, literary fiction, and chick lit. (I've read one western to date.)

I read a few poetry books, a few short story collections, a few graphic novels, a few nonfiction books.

I am especially fond of:

  • Regency romances (including Austen prequels/sequels)
  • Historical fiction set in the Tudor dynasty
  • Historical fiction and nonfiction set during World War II
  • Jewish fiction/nonfiction
  • dystopias
  • apocalyptic fiction
  • science fiction (especially if it involves time travel and alternate realities)
  • fantasy
  • multicultural books and international books

I am not a fan of:

  • sports books
  • horse books
  • dog books if the dog dies (same goes with most pets actually except maybe fish)
  • westerns (if it's a pioneer story with women and children, then maybe)
  • extremely violent books with blood, blood, and more blood

I am more interested in strong characters, well-written, fleshed-out, human characters. Plot is secondary to me in a way. I have to care about the characters in order to care about the plot. That being said, compelling storytelling is something that I love. I love to become absorbed in what I'm reading.

If you're interested in sending me a review copy of your book, I'm happy to hear from you. Email me at laney_po AT yahoo DOT com.

You should know several things before you contact me:

1) I do not guarantee a review of your book. I am just agreeing to consider it for review.
2) I give all books at least fifty pages.
3) I am not promising anyone (author or publisher) a positive review in exchange for a review copy. That's not how I work.
4) In all of my reviews I strive for honesty. My reviews are my opinions--so yes, they are subjective--you should know my blog will feature both negative and positive reviews.
5) I do not guarantee that I will get to your book immediately. I've got so many books I'm trying to read and review, I can't promise to get to any one book in a given time frame.
6) Emailing me every other week to see if I've read your book won't help me get to it any faster. Though if you want to email me to check and see if it arrived safely, then that's fine!

Authors, publishers. I am interested in interviewing authors and participating in blog tours. (All I ask is that I receive a review copy of the author's latest book beforehand so the interview will be productive. If the book is part of a series, I'd like to review the whole series.) Contact me if you're interested.

Unique Visitors and Google PR Rank

Free PageRank Checker

2018 Kitty Lit Challenge

2018 Kitty Lit Challenge
Link to sign-up page

Join the Victorian Reading Challenge

Join the Victorian Reading Challenge
Linked to sign up page

Family Tree Reading Challenge

Family Tree Reading Challenge
Link to sign-up page

2018 Share-a-Tea Challenge

2018 Share-a-Tea Challenge
Linked To Sign Up Page

2018 Charity Challenge (Sign Up)

2018 Good Rule Reading Challenge

2018 Good Rule Reading Challenge
Link to sign up page

2018 Picture Book Challenge

2018 Picture Book Challenge
Link to sign-up page

Join the 2018 Middle Grade Reading Challenge

Join the 2018 Middle Grade Reading Challenge
click image to go to sign up post

Good Rules Cheat List

Board books and picture books = new is anything published after 2013
Early readers and chapter books = new is anything published after 2013
Contemporary (general/realistic) = new is anything published after 2007
Speculative fiction (sci-fi/fantasy = new is anything published after 2007
Classics = anything published before 1968
Historical fiction = new is anything published after 2007
Mysteries = new is anything published after 1988
Nonfiction = new is anything published after 2007
Christian books = new is anything published after 2000
Bibles = new is anything published after 1989

My Blog List

(Old) Challenge Participants

Becky's Hosting These Challenges

100 Books Project: Fill in the Gaps

Becky Laney of Becky's Book Reviews

  © Blogger template Newspaper III by Ourblogtemplates.com 2008

Back to TOP