"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."
Author Walter Dean Myers lives up to his reputation of thrilling, thought-provoking books for teens with his latest. Reese was a believable character with a realistic past and the reader has no choice but to connect with him, as he is one of those "in-your-face" characters. And I really found myself cheering for him and enjoying his thoughts as he did his time. His connection with the elderly Mr. Hooft is also written in an incredibly believable manner and I found myself picturing this man and this boy, actually having these conversations, and chuckling to myself when the insults would start flying.
The imagery is awesome and the page-turning aspect is high. Your reluctant readers will really enjoy this one, as will those that want to devour every book they can get their hands on. Lockdown is a glimpse into juvenile jail, as well as the mind of a boy who wants nothing more than to do the right thing.
As I was reading, I kept picturing DeShawn, from If I Grow Up by Todd Strasser. You can read my review of that one here. These boys would most-definitely be friends in real life.
Walter Dean Myers
Review copy received from publisher
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