Saturday, October 31, 2009

Book of the Week

I've wanted to read a Paul Volponi title ever since I heard a friend rave about his book Black and White. I have yet to read that one, but I did find a copy of his newer book Rooftop at our local bookstore.

Rooftop is the story of a young man named Clay. Clay lives in a New York City ghetto and has been involved in some pretty shady activities. He ends up getting in trouble for using drugs and enters into a day treatment program called Daytop. Shortly after he starts treatment, his cousin also enters the program. Addison is a bit more street-wise and in deeper with drugs and the drug crowd than his cousin Clay. Addison seems to have a less stable home life than Clay and is rebelling against the system.

However, Addison's extracurricular activities land him in a bit of trouble with another member of the Daytop "familty". This other kid, Clorox, is still into the drug scene and owes Addison a lot of money. Addison is infuriated that Clorox won't repay him this money and makes a decision that costs him a lot more than what Clorox owed him.

I liked that this story was realistic and that the characters had to make tough decisions. These day treatment kids were not living at some posh facility, but had a few hours of training and GED work per day and then had to go home to their messed up lives and walk on the same streets where they got busted in the first place. There is no escape or easy way for these kids to leave their drug problems and stress behind, because they have to face it every day.

Reading this selection definitely makes me want to check out more of Volponi's work! I think that male or female students would enjoy this fast-paced read. It's available for check out at the back of the room.

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