________________ CM . . . . Volume XXIII Number 25 . . . . March 10, 2017


A Dark Truth. (Orca Soundings).

Jeff Ross.
Victoria, BC: Orca, 2016.
105 pp., pbk., pdf & epub., $9.95 (pbk.).
ISBN 978-1-4598-1327-4 (pbk.), ISBN 978-1-4598-1328-1 (pdf), ISBN 978-1-4598-1329-8 (epub).

Grades 7 and up / Ages 12 and up.

Review by Christina Pike.

**** /4

Reviewed from Advance Reading Copy.



Sponsor Me videos are like calling cards to companies looking to throw products and money at new young skaters. We'd both placed in a contest in August, and a representative for a major company had asked for our videos. We told him we didn't have full clips yet. He said we needed them fast in order to cash in on our contest results, or we'd soon be forgotten. This was all part of skateboarding. Who was in at any moment seemed, in many ways, purely due to luck. There were a lot of great skateboarders out there, so you had to show you had something different to offer. Something no one else had done or had not done in the same way.

I wanted to skate clean. That was my thing. No wobbles, no flapping arms, always land on bolts.

Everything I did was smooth. If I landed, that is. I wasn't going to put anything in the video if it wasn't totally smooth and crisp. Dashawn cared less about how smooth he was, but he needed everything to be seriously technical. My video, I hoped, would look amazing on first view. Dashawn's, on the other hand, would likely not seem like much to the untrained eye. But once you rewatched it, you would see that everything he was doing incredibly difficult and precise. And he did it all with speed.

In A Dark Truth, Jeff Ross writes about two best friends who are skateboarders. With another friend, they are trying to make a skateboarding video for an online company. During the filming, the three friends go to a new unoccupied building to capture that perfect place for their stunts. They agree upon a meeting place just in case the police show up. The police do appear, but Dashawn does not make it to the rendezvous. It isn't until the next day that Riley realizes what actually happened to Dashawn.

In A Dark Truth, Ross uses the skateboarding world to show both what friendship truly is and the "dark" world of racism. Riley and Dashawn have been friends since childhood and have not taken notice of their different races. It isn't until the police bring it to the forefront in their brutality towards Dashawn that Riley is forced to face this reality. The readers move with Riley as he examines the horrors of this racism and then relives all of the earlier episodes of similar behavior he had missed.

      A good read, much deeper than it originally appears.

Highly Recommended.

Christina Pike is the principal of St. Paul's Junior High in St. John's, NL.

To comment on this title or this review, send mail to cm@umanitoba.ca.

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.
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ISSN 1201-9364
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