by William Kowalski
Sixteen-year-old Rasheed is smart, tough and a survivor. In his neighborhood, he has to be. The streets are run by a gang called the E Street Locals, and they've been trying to jump him in since he was a child. So far, he's managed to escape their clutches. But the gang is not his only problem. Rasheed's sister, Daneeka, was paralyzed in a drive-by shooting, and now she's confined to a wheelchair, mentally frozen at the age of nine. His mother is an addict. His father hasn't been heard from in years. High school is no safer than the streets, so Rasheed seeks solace at the local university campus. There he meets a young woman named Lanaia who takes an interest in him. He also bumps up against a police officer who he thinks at first is hassling him just because he's black. But eventually Rasheed realizes that the officer is only pushing him to become a better person. Though he can't escape his home life, or the gang, as easily as he'd like, Rasheed does learn some valuable lessons in his struggles: you and you alone are accountable for the decisions you make in life; even though the world is not a fair place, you can still accomplish whatever you set your mind to; and we all become stronger when we admit we need someone to lean on.
Reading Level: 2.2
Pub Date: April 18, 2017
- About the author
William Kowalski is the author of the international bestseller Eddie's Bastard, winner of South Africa’s Ama-Boeke Award, and more recently The Hundred Hearts. His work has been translated into fifteen languages. Two of the titles William wrote for the Rapids Reads series have been nominated for the Ontario Library Association’s Golden Oak Award. He lives with his family in Nova Scotia. For more information visit williamkowalski.com.
The list of books by William in the Rapid Reads series are: The Barrio Kings, Just Gone, Something Noble, The Way it Works, The Innocence Device and Epic Game. The latest, Jumped In, will be released in April 2017.
Crimespree Magazine—April 3, 2017
"A kid growing up in a rough neighborhood wants a better life but needs to navigate the one he's living now. A great voice and a terrific book."