Books: The Cheapest Vacation You Can Buy

{April 30, 2011}   Down, by Norah McClintock

From Orca Books:  “When James and the rest of them talk about the other guys, their faces get all twisted so that they don’t even look like themselves. I wonder if I looked like that when I beat up that guy. I sure was mad enough.”

Remy must control his anger or lose his freedom.  Remy has just been released from juvenile detention and is back in his old neighborhood. He went away because he severely assaulted a guy who insulted his girlfriend—Asia. As a white boy dating an immigrant, Remy has had to take a lot of the inbred racism that exists in the inner-city—from strangers, his family and even the police. When the white kids and the “outsiders” start scrapping over the local basketball court, Remy is caught between sticking up for his friends and siding with Asia, who is now seeing Marcus—the leader of the other group.

Orca Book Publishers is an organization that produces fiction for reluctant readers, especially readers on the lower spectrum, with a reading level between second grade and fourth grade.  Down comes from the Orca Soundings series, which is for those ages 12+, and is written in a way that the reader, especially a reluctant reader, can easily understand.  

This was a really interesting story about anger and racial hatred.  I’m not too happy with the ending, but I guess it is realistic, and that is the point of these novels–to have a real life lesson.  Overall I did enjoy this novel, and I think it was really interesting to see inside Remy’s head as he struggled with his anger and doing the right thing.  McClintock is a superb writer, and I’ve enjoyed all her novels.

Check out my Orca Book Publishers page for more information, titles, and reviews for reluctant readers!


et cetera
%d bloggers like this: