________________ CM . . . . Volume XIII Number 10 . . . . January 4, 2007



William T. Hathaway.
Montreal, PQ: Lobster Press, 2006.
144 pp., pbk., $10.95.
ISBN 978-1897073-29-2.

Grades 7-11 / Ages 12-16.

Review by Daphne Hamilton-Nagorsen.

**½  /4


Justin pushed the door open just as he was tackled. His long body sprawled in the alley, held by a thick-armed man. Gabriel leaped out to help him. “Bust, get out!” Justin yelled. The man was forcing his arms behind his back, cramming his wrists into handcuffs. A patrol car suddenly cut into the alley, siren howling, red lights whirling. In a panic, Gabriel seized a nearby Dumpster and swung it broadside to block the alley. Without the adrenaline supercharging him, he wouldn’t have been able to budge it. The patrol car screeched to a stop in front of the Dumpster as Gabriel dashed for the van. The other plainclothes officer from the store was chasing him, yelling, “Stop, police, you’re under arrest!”


CD-Ring is the story of Gabriel Estrada, a high school student with musical ambitions. He is the guitarist in a band, Rip Chord, which also includes his girlfriend, Darci, and two other friends, EdO and Justin. Rip Chord auditions at a local club and is told that they lack the talent to make it as a band. This situation is serious for Gabriel because he needs to make money. His mother is out of work and cannot find new job, his father is dead, and Gabriel has to support his family and make the payments on his music equipment. With the band’s dreams shattered after the audition, Rip Chord receives another blow when their equipment is repossessed. Justin offers to share his job with Gabriel since he makes a lot of money at it. Gabriel agrees but then finds out the job involves delivering counterfeit CDs and DVDs. On his second day, Justin is arrested, but Gabriel gets away. Vic, Justin’s boss, offers Gabriel a chance to stay with the organization and work his way higher. Gabriel starts finding out what this really involves. Darci refuses to see Gabriel when she finds out what his job is. Gabriel makes his decision and has to get Darci and EdO to help him avoid being killed and in getting Justin out of jail.

     CD-Ring is a very fast-paced story. The action starts in the first few pages and continues until the end. The action still allows some time for character development although it would be nice to get to know the characters a bit more, especially EdO and Justin. CD-Ring is fast enough to appeal to hi-lo readers, but it will also appeal to anyone interested in an action-based story. The story is very much about trying to do the right thing when there do not seem to be any real options. It is also a story about trust – not only trusting your friends but also being able to trust at all.


Daphne Hamilton-Nagorsen is a student in the School of Library, Archival and Information Studies at UBC, Vancouver, BC.


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