CM . . .
. Volume XII Number 11 . . . . February 3, 2006
Josh moves from a group home to his brother's tiny apartment, which is made much smaller by the tension between Josh and his sister-in-law, not to mention the baby. He is required to attend anger-management classes that take the form of dog training sessions. With Travis, the enemy, constantly pushing his buttons, Josh finds it increasingly difficult to control his temper, and when the police come looking for him, accusing him of assault, he maintains his innocence but isn't sure he'll get off this time.
A swift moving plot and language designed for a 2.1+ reading level make this a quick, easy, and engrossing read. Josh comes to life as a complex character, struggling with his past hardships, present conflicts, and uncertain future. The first-person narrative brings the reader closer to Josh as well and heightens the effect of the narrative by making his emotions and actions more intense. The themes in the book--family, abuse, violence, anger, friendship, empathy, and home--all revolve around the protagonist.
This “Orca Soundings” reluctant readers' book, with its quick, intense, and powerful plot that really hits home, will likely appeal to high school boys or a slightly younger audience.
Andrea Szilagyi is a graduate student studying children's literature at the University of British Columbia.
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Copyright © the Manitoba Library Association. Reproduction for personal use is permitted only if this copyright notice is maintained. Any other reproduction is prohibited without permission.