Friday, January 29, 2010

Lockdown by Walter Dean Myers

"What I would have liked to have done way to hop to this sucker and beat his head it, but it would've been the same as beating my own head in, because I would be the one doing the most suffering."

This is the dilemma that fourteen year old Reese Anderson finds himself in almost every day at the Progress juvenile detention center. Reese has been in for about two years for stealing some prescription pads, and all he wants to do is get out, have his freedom back. But every day situations get in the way. He gets signed up to work for a program at he jail where he goes out and works at a retirement home. It's weird at first, but even if Reese is just picking up trash, at least he doesn't have someone staring down his back all the time. He works with this old man named Mr. Hooft who is really crazy and racist, but again, this is nothing compared to life in the jail. Torn between wanting to help his friends not get the crap beat out of them all the time and not wanting to be in trouble, Reese has to navigate the world of the jail very carefully. If he plays his cards right, he could get out. But if he makes one wrong move...he's toast.

This book was a good look inside the juvenile's not a fun place to be. But jail aside, what really got me in this book were the conflicts that Reese felt inside. He wanted to defend helpless kids in the jail, but he knew he wasn't supposed to fight anymore.  Reese also has his family on his mind.  He needs to help his little sister Icy achieve her dreams, keep his mom off drugs, and hopefully his brother Willis out of jail.  His family needs him.  But how can you just stand by and watch a weak kid get beat up and not do anything to help him? Fighting is the only freedom he's got, so should he chill out or help his friends?  Lockdown takes you inside with Reese and shows you how he makes his decision about where the rest of his life is headed...if anywhere.

This great new book by Walter Dean Myers will be in bookstores this Tuesday, February 2.  Check it out!

Grade: A-

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