Thursday, May 17, 2012


by Walter Dean Myers and Ross Workman

Kevin Johnson is thirteen years old. And heading for juvie. He's a good kid, a great friend, and a star striker for his Highland, New Jersey, soccer team. His team is competing for the State Cup, and he wants to prove he has more than just star-player potential. Kevin's never been in any serious trouble . . . until the night he ends up in jail. Enter Sergeant Brown, a cop assigned to be Kevin's mentor. If Kevin and Brown can learn to trust each other, they might be able to turn things around before it's too late. (description from

I did not really enjoy this book. I wanted to, but there were a lot of things about it that actually bothered me.  I could see that it would appeal a lot to other readers, but it just didn't work for me.

Good things I saw:
*It's a quick read.
*Kevin is relatable and has a great family.
*Sgt. Brown was overall a good mentor to Kevin.
*It gives a good lesson about watching your temper and finding other ways to solve problems.

Things I didn't like:
*Sgt. Brown calling his wife (whom he supposedly loved very much) "Woman," constantly saying he wished she would stop talking at him and just "Shut Up." Grrr... As much as he was good with Kevin, I HATED the example he set as a husband.
*The sub-plot about the illegal immigrants being exploited was tied up too neatly and without a lot of explanation.
*Kevin's almost trip to perma-juvie was tied up way to easily in what I thought was an improbable fashion...

Overall, I had wanted to like this story, but I just found that I couldn't get past what I disliked. I will be recommending this to reluctant readers, though, and pointing out to teens that Myers' co-author is actually a teen himself!

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