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Fiction Ages 10-14
Pages: 136
Themes: gangs, theft, restorative justice
Publisher: Orca Book Publishers
Pub Date: 01/03/2011
Lexile Level: HL560L
Fry Reading Level: 3.8
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When Cody and his friends accept a challenge from a local gang to steal a park bench, their main concern is keeping themselves on the gang's good side. Cody learns that the stolen bench had been dedicated to the father of the English teacher who sponsors the school newspaper—the paper that Cody has just started writing for—and he's worried about the consequences. As the gang applies pressure for more from Cody and his friends, he realizes they've crossed a line, and now he has to figure out how to make it right.

Library Media Connection - August 1, 2011
"Cody's trials demonstrate how hard it is to be a freshman. The story resolves itself in a satisfying way...The characters are likable...and their prank and its consequences are very believable."
Booklist - May 15, 2011
"Packs in a lot of issues for one small paperback, but reluctant readers, especially, will be hooked as the tension builds, and the realistic story, which avoids a slick resolution, will spark discussion."
Resource Links - February 1, 2011
"Watson delivers a fast-paced, quick and easy read...A fun sneak peek into someone else's life...[and] a good addition to the Orca Currents series."


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Middle-school fiction
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Key Features:

Contemporary stories

Compelling characters

Ideal for Lit Circles

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