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School Library Journal

Timís dyslexia is making his academic success difficult. The 17-year-old needs to pass a proficiency exam in order to move on to 10th grade. On the cusp of summer, a negative interaction with a well-intentioned teacher pushes Tim to the limits. He makes dangerous decisions, especially because he isnít receiving support from disconnected parents. During this tumultuous time, distractions are overpowering and itís easier for Tim to fight rather than flee. His sister, uncle, and teachers are motivated to direct his energy, particularly when his actions will have long-term consequences. While the sentences are choppy and the plot loses momentum when the narrative switches to the other charactersí perspectives, the chapters are short, and rhymes, letters, and italicized scenes add depth to Timís experiences. Mixon has created a fully realized teenager in whom young adults will see themselves. With subjects such as bullying, gangs, retaliation, remorse, race, disability, and family all woven in, this book is worth reading and discussing in classrooms and book clubs. Larger questions and well-drawn characters will be sure to bring readers into the library looking for similar titles. VERDICT A gritty novel with a relatable protagonist and lots of appeal that will be at home in school and public libraries serving teens. Give to fans of Daniel Keyesís Flowers for Algernon or Sapphireís Push.
- March 1, 2017  Visit Website

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