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Fighting for Dontae Hardcover – February 20, 2012

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Editorial Reviews

About the Author

Mike Castan is a writer who has been an actor and a middle-grade substitute teacher. He is the author of The Price of Loyalty, which Booklist called a "stirring first novel." He lives in California.
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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 144 pages
  • Publisher: Holiday House (February 20, 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0823423484
  • ISBN-13: 978-0823423484
  • Product Dimensions: 8.3 x 5.8 x 0.7 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 11.2 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 3.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #726,069 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By NebraskaIcebergs on March 12, 2013
Format: Hardcover
Mike Castan's heart is in the right place with Fighting for Dontae, which he dedicates from "one-at-risk student to another". Unfortunately, I can't recommend it because of its stereotypes.

First, there is Castan's portrayal of Latin American youth. Main character Javier is poor and belongs to a gang. He is so poor that his family doesn't have a television or cell phone, nor can they afford for him to buy new clothes for school or attend the movies. To fit in with the gang, Javier wears a white t-shirt and baggy pants. This describes all of his friends too, who have cash and luxuries only when they steal them, except some of them also get into using chains, dealing drugs, and invoking revenge which lands them in juvenile court. In addition, Javier's mother struggles to hold onto a minimum-wage job and his dad spends most of his time in jail. Don't get me wrong. Poverty, gangs, and dysfunctional families do exist. It's even commendable that Castan portrays Javier as being conflicted about his delinquent lifestyle and eventually turning away from it. But why does he portray only the Latino youth as being in trouble? And why is it that when Javier becomes friends with smart and wealthy classmate, she's white and Jewish? I don't live in California, so I can't claim to have an understanding of what life is like there for Latino youth. It just seems wrong that Castan could have created a story with fewer stereotypes and more complex individuals.

Second, there is Castan's portrayal of Special Education students. Initially, my biggest complaint was that Castan fell into the trap of many authors who feature those with special needs. The students in Fighting for Dontae aren't portrayed as individuals in their own right, but rather serve as agents of change in Javier's life.
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0 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Delrose Pinnock-Bennett on September 8, 2013
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
This book was amazing . My daughter had to read it for her summer packet and she loved it . My daughter doesn't really like reading but this book changed her she read this book 3 times and recommend it to me.
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