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Fiction Ages 12+
Pages: 112
Themes: Justice, vengeance, community
Publisher: Orca Book Publishers
Pub Date: 01/04/2009
Lexile Level: HL700L
Fry Reading Level: 4.0
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Jojo's back, released from jail, and people are tense and afraid all over again. They wonder if his friends will start showing up again. They wonder if they'll be walking down the street one day and they'll run into Jojo and Jojo will give them attitude or shove them around, just for fun. Jojo's friends have a way of making it hard—really hard—on people who decide to press charges against Jojo. Those people just wish Jojo would go away and never come back. Then there are the people who have hate in their hearts. These people wish something bad would happen to Jojo. Something really bad.

Ardell Withrow is one of those people.

Also available in Spanish.

Journal of Adolescent and Adult Literacy - November 1, 2009
"Bullying and revenge are common themes in young adult literature, but author Norah McClintock gives these classic themes an updated twist...The experiences in the book are ones to which almost any reader will relate."
Southwestern Ohio Young Adult Materials Review Group - June 26, 2009
"This short but powerful story explores the topic of forgiveness and redemption from the perspective of a bystander who renames nameless and genderless...This is a good morality tale that will have reluctant readers thinking about how they would react in a similar situation. Recommended."
Booklist - April 15, 2009
"Perfect for reluctant readers up for some soul-searching."
Resource Links - April 1, 2009
"Fits the Orca Soundings template to perfection. It is suspenseful and plot-driven, and written in a neutral way that leaves much to the inference of the reader. It covers strong, current issues with realistic language."
CM Magazine - March 6, 2009
"Back is sure to satisfy Norah McClintock fans as well as teens looking for an authentic urban experience in a well-told, accessible story. It is also an excellent choice for read-aloud. Highly Recommended."


Resource Links "The Year's Best"  | 2009 | Commended
TriState YA Review Group Book of Note  | 2010 | Commended
CCBC Best Books starred selection  | 2010 | Commended
OLA Best Bets   | 2009 | Commended


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