Select Your Language Below if English isn't Your Main Language


Sunday, September 3, 2017

SideStreets Series by John Choi, Melanie Florence, Cristy Watson and Robert Rayner Review

SideStreets Series
  • Deals with real-world issues in real ways
  • High-interest fiction that engages reluctant teen readers
  • Believable characters, situations, and dialogue
  • Diverse characters and settings
  • Award-winning, knowledgeable authors
  • 60+ titles available
  • 34 award-winning titles
  • Reading Level Grades 3-5
  • Interest Level Grades 9-12

Themes: Anger issues, death & dying, families, underage drinking

Ever since Logan found out that his uncle was involved in the accident that killed Logan's dad, he's been full of resentment. He cuts his uncle out of his life, and finds that being reckless is the only way to feel anything. Looking for a place to drink underaged and undisturbed, Logan and his friends break into a house they think is abandoned.

What they find there gets them into trouble with the law and causes Logan's girlfriend to break up with him. But it also makes Logan face up to his anger and his need to forgive and be forgiven.

This novel combines themes of teen rebellion with what happens when young people are brought face-to-face with the reality of death in a realistic, unsensational story.

Themes: Mental health, cultural diversity, parental pressure, abuse

Emerson Yeung seems to have every reason to be happy-- he gets good marks, has some friends, and has a part time job at his parents' dry cleaning business. But Emerson has been hiding something. The pressure to be the perfect son put on him by his parents that sometimes escalates into abuse from his father. This has led to a depression that leaves him roaming the city in the middle of the night.

When his phone is stolen and used to post racist threats toward the vice principal and a teacher at his school, Emerson gets suspended and is investigated by the police. Not seeing any way out of his situation, he plans to commit suicide. But Emerson manages to find help and to gain the strength he needs to deal with his life.

This novel is a realistic look at how a responsible teen can feel overwhelmed by life's pressures --and how personal and family tragedy can be averted.

Themes: LGBTQ, gender identity, Native peoples, homelessness, runaways, street youth

Raised on a reserve in northern Ontario, seventeen-year-old Joe Littlechief tries to be like the other guys. But Joe knows he's different -- he's more interested in guys than in any of the girls he knows. One night Joe makes a drunken pass at his best friend Benjy and, by the next morning, everyone on the rez is talking about Joe. His mother, a devout Christian, is horrified, and the kids who are supposed to be his friends make it clear there's no place for him in their circle, or even on the rez. Joe thinks about killing himself, but instead runs away to the city.

Alone and penniless on the streets of Toronto, Joe comes to identify with the Aboriginal idea of having two spirits, or combining both feminine and masculine identities in one person. He also begins to understand more about how his parents have been affected by their own experiences as children in residential schools -- something never discussed on the rez. And he realizes he has to come to terms with his two-spiritedness and find people who accept him for who he is.

This is a novel that reflects the complex realities faced by young LGBTQ and aboriginal youth today.

Themes: Social justice, dealing with authority, cultural diversity, conflict resolution

In the middle of the night, five teens break into a small town high school that has been closed by the regional school board. They are there to protest the decision to move them to a big city school and make their little town that much smaller. Led by Bilan, whose experience with the Arab Spring fired a passion to peacefully fight against injustice, the Gang of Five occupy their old school. The local police chief and the town quietly cheer them on. When the school board calls in a big security firm to break up their occupation using any means necessary, including force, the five have to decide how far they will go to show their outrage at having no control over decisions that affect their lives.

This is a novel which picks up on themes drawn from the world around us, and shows how these can play out in the lives of contemporary young people.


Dark Side

The lead's parents are Chinese and different from what he thinks most Canadians parents are. They expect a lot and are sort of abusive. He suffers from depression and anxiety. This book is good about showing the reader that they aren't alone if they feel this way. 

Riot School

This book seems like it tries to fit all types of people in. A group of kids gets together to protest and they are an extremely diverse bunch. They have to try to work with the system.

Rez Runaway

The lead runs away from the reservation when everyone finds out he's gay. Even his mother doesn't want him around. Things just keep going from bad to worse for him. Eventually, he meets a man who grew up with his grandfather and a trans girl who are also homeless. Everything is going wrong, and they have to lean on each other. 

Dead to Me

The lead finds out a secret about his father and uncle that completely changes him. He becomes more of a troublemaker, has a chip on his shoulder. He can't let it go. He drinks and such. It's a good lesson about forgiveness and the dangers of drinking. 

***copy given in exchange for an honest review***


Fangirl Moments and My Two Cents

No comments:

Post a Comment