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Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Lockdown by Walter Dean Myers

Goodreads Summary:
When I first got to Progress, it freaked me out to be locked in a room and unable to get out. But after a while, when you got to thinking about it, you knew nobody could get in, either.
It seems as if the only progress that's going on at Progress juvenile facility is moving from juvy jail to real jail. Reese wants out early, but is he supposed to just sit back and let his friend Toon get jumped? Then Reese gets a second chance when he's picked for the work program at a senior citizens' home. He doesn't mean to keep messing up, but it's not so easy, at Progress or in life. One of the residents, Mr. Hooft, gives him a particularly hard time. If he can convince Mr. Hooft that he's a decent person, not a criminal, maybe he'll be able to convince himself.

Acclaimed author Walter Dean Myers offers an honest story about finding a way to make it without getting lost in the shuffle.


Reese is 15 years old in a juvenile facility.  He was caught stealing prescription pads from a doctor's office after another individual ratted him out to lower his own sentence.  Reese isn't a bad kid.  He's made mistakes, but he is trying to get his life back on track.  Unfortunately, he keeps making bad choices while in the juvenile facility that could potentially ruin his chances of ever getting out.  Those in charge must feel that Reese is worth the hassle, because although he keeps messing up, they keep giving him chances to right his wrongs. 

Throughout the book Reese begins to learn what kind of person he wants to be and how he is going to survive.  Mr. Hooft at the retirement facility has a lot of insight into survival, and Reese begins to understand that fighting isn't the way to survive happily.  It is the discussions with Mr. Hooft that finally register with Reese and make him believe he can be a better person.

This story makes you feel for Reese at times and what he is going through, but at other times makes you want to yell at him.  He makes some stupid choices that could ruin his life.  I kept reading to find out what happened to him in the end, and I'm sure you will too.  Reese is an interesting character who has a lot of growing up to do if he ever wants to make it in the real world.

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