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Wednesday, February 11, 2009

THE JUVIE THREE- GORDON KORMAN

I'm always on the lookout for books to lure my boys into the "Land of Reading." This weekend, while I was at our state reading conference, I had the privilege of hearing Nancie Atwell speak about her new book, THE READING ZONE. During the Q and A, someone asked Atwell what she was reading. She said she had just started THE JUVIE THREE by Gordon Korman, but thought it was definitely a winner. I totally concur.

Gecko, Arjay, and Terrence are juvenile delinquents who have been placed in a special halfway house. The three will live in an apartment under the supervision of Mr. Doug Healy. They are expected to attend school and therapy sessions, and also do community service. One slip up and they will be sent back to their previous detention facilities. 

Gecko and Arjay understand this, and pretty much toe the line. Terrence, however, is a gang wannabe, anxious to leave at the first possible opportunity. One night, in an attempt to escape, he climbs out onto a fire escape. His roommates catch him and a scuffle ensues. During the scuffle, Mr. Healy is knocked off the fire escape and suffers a serious head injury.  

The boys know they are in big trouble. They load an unconscious Mr. Healy into a stolen car and leave him at a hospital emergency room. They then return to the apartment, where they decide their only hope is to pretend that all normal routines are in place until Mr. Healy returns. They anticipate this won't be more than a day or two, but when Mr. Healy awakens, he has amnesia, and doesn't remember anything about his life…

This is a terrific read, a book where you can't wait to turn the page to see what happens next. At the same time, there's real depth to the characters, and the friendship the three boys develop. A great middle or high school read. Now if I could only get one of my boys to read the first few pages…

1 comment:

Laura Benson said...

I have to read this book, too. Thank you so much for steering us to such important books...texts which grow our heart and expand our compassion.
Love from Chicago (on my way back to Cairo)...