Monday, March 22, 2010

The Junto Racing to the Bell by Ron Costello

This book is about a boy named Jamil Jamil, who is in a bad
situation and looking for outside help. His mother is into
drugs, and jumping from nasty boyfriend to nasty boyfriend.
The latest one beats Jamil often. Even school isn't safe
anymore; the principal has it out for him. The only place
were he is comfortable is at his grandmother's house. She's
also the only one who knows his secret. He can communicate
with animals! One day while doing his homework, Jamil gets
a message from Bette the elephant saying that there have
been bad people at the zoo plotting to blow up the city.
But what could Jamil do? He's just a kid. Can he save the
city or will he be blown up with it?

I think that this book is interesting. I think it would
have been better if it started in medias res. Instead, it
is sort of slow starting. I like the fact that he can't
actually 'speak' to animals. It's more like the animals and
Jamil just know what the other is saying. There are too
many books where animals talk. I also like the parts where
the author explains why the terrorists are terrorists. It
is a helpful insight, that helps the story I think. All in
all, though it is a good book that I recommend to anyone
who likes slow intros.

I give this book a 2 because it's about terrorism and
has references to drugs and not exactly a book for fifth
graders.

Reviewer Age:13

Reviewer City, State and
Country: Sandy, Oregon USA

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