Wednesday, February 25, 2015

The Dealer, by Robert Muchamore

James and a couple of his friends are asked to investigate a drug dealing organization and shut it down with agents from M15. They need to get close to the leader of the organization and the only way to do that is by getting close to his kids. James has to keep his head straight and avoid the drugs, but will he fall for them?

The Dealer, by Robert Muchamore, is an excellent squeal to the first book, fast paced and daring as ever. There are somethings about the book I wouldn't recommend anybody to read as it's about drugs. Anyone who has drug problems or has a family member with drug problems shouldn't read this as I believe it can be somewhat offensive to people that fit that category.

Reviewed by N.H., Grade 9
Glendale Central Library

Monday, February 23, 2015

The Contender, by Robert Lipsyte

The Contender, written by Robert Lipsyte is about a seventeen year old boy named Alfred Brooks. He has emotional and physical changes throughout his life and really doesn't know what he wants, to do. He lives with his Aunt Pearl after seeing his father die when he went on vacation, and his mother died when he was just 10. Alfred has one good friend named James. Even though they are not similar in any shape or form. They've been there for each other since they were little. James always kept pushing Alfred hard to reach his goal. Throughout the book you'll see that that course changes. James starts to be a criminal and Alfred tries to stay away as far as he can. Alfred is a high-school dropout so he wants to make money and support his family. So he decides to do something he loves. Not dancing or being a manager, but a professional boxer. He starts training at a place called Donatelli's gym where he gets better and better. Alfred tries really hard and his friends said he deserves a break. Some other boys named Major and Hollis decide to rob a store with Alfred. The same store Alfred used to work as an office clerk. He doesn't tell his best friend about the new alarm systems installed and his best friend is thrown in jail. Alfred soon gets upset and wants to get James out. However something bad happens to Alfred as well. While trying to get out James. He receives comments of racism and skin color. Alfred is African-American and we learn over the course of the story racism is a major issue. Over time Alfred get's better and better in boxing and beats an opponent. He learns to become a real Contender and as for James he begins a new life. There is more but this is just the beginning.

This book is great for any teenager. It talks about things all of us go through. Including fear, bullying, harassment, and racism. I learned that don't ever, ever judge a person by his or her's skin color but from the inside. Always believe in yourself and don't take everything seriously. Like if a friend calls you stupid. Just be cool and ignore. Something Iv'e learned a long time ago. Another thing is to appreciate what you have. Alfred didn't and he suffered. Don't be upset for every little thing because that will make you live an angry life. One most last important point. Go to school and educate yourselves and become successful in life. You'll always win and need nobody in life. Because no one can take away anything from your head. So appreciate and educate yourselves and don't think about anything else. This book has taught me this so you know it's a great book. Again the book is called "The Contender", by Robert Lipsyte.

Reviewed by Nathan J., Grade 9
Pacific Park Library