Monday, January 28, 2008

July 5

Jerome Banneker lives in the projects, but doesn't see the
reason for the "commmunity pride" of its other black
members. Josh Stanton has always been told that his life is
great, but doesn't understand the "morality" that everyone
tells him he lacks. And Rob Flaherty lives in an
impoverished town full of racist Irishmen, but thinks of
himself as a rebel. The boys' three communities are in a
heated debate over the fate of a nearby shoe factory, and
according to the adults around them, the three should avoid
each other at all costs. But a mysterious businesswoman
brings them together, and the boys can't help but see each
other, not as rivals, but as friends.

This book is the worst I've read in a long time. The
author took a mediocre plot line, added three almost
identical characters, and called his book finished. Perhaps
if it had been written well, it would have still been an
enjoyable book, but Mr.McHugh's novel is littered with comma
errors and awful dialect. All of the characters are one
dimensional-- the children overly perfect clones of one
another who enjoy breaking into monologues and the adults
irrational bigots. Only one character has any intrigue at
all, and McHugh seems to expect her interactions to make up
for the blandness of her companions by including her
everywhere. The three protagonists cause the book to be
redundant, as McHugh's attempts to make them similar to each
other only mean that whenever something happens to one, a
similar thing must happen to the rest, and instead of using
foreshadowing, he simply includes random unrelated events to
explain others. The book's condescending tone makes it a
truly unpleasant read, and unless you suffer from insomnia,
you should certainly look elsewhere for a way to spend your

The book has anti-racism themes throughout, causing it to
create cruel stereotypes about races, and all characters
curse. A teen also uses drugs and is offered alcohol and
drugs by an adult, and the book contains violence, attempted
murder, and attempted suicide.
Rating: 2

Reviewer Age:15

Reviewer City, State and Country: , Maryland United States

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