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Juvie Hardcover – October 8, 2013


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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 320 pages
  • Publisher: Candlewick (October 8, 2013)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0763655090
  • ISBN-13: 978-0763655099
  • Product Dimensions: 8.1 x 5.9 x 1.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 15.2 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (5 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,024,153 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From School Library Journal

Gr 9 Up—Sadie, the sensible one, didn't want to go to the party. She wasn't into drinking, and she had a bad feeling when two skuzzy boys asked for a ride. Despite her misgivings, Sadie is in the driver's seat when an undercover cop appears. Carla is already on probation, and everyone assures Sadie she'll just get a slap on the wrist if she takes the fall. Things go wrong in court, however, and Sadie winds up sentenced to six months in the juvenile detention center, where she meets a rich cast of inmates, including Good Gina, Bad Gina, Chantrelle, and the Jelly Sisters. The characters are realistic, from Sadie's boyfriend to C. Miller, a female guard who shares Sadie's love of basketball. The chapters alternate between a timeline that moves from the party towards the court date, and one the progresses from Sadie's first body-cavity search to her third month in juvie. Whitney Dykhouse's slightly husky voice works well for Sadie. She isn't as convincing voicing the male characters, particularly the prison guards. Since most of this well-written and surprisingly humorous story (Candlewick, 2013) deals with young women, it doesn't distract from the ultimately hopeful story. Sadie is a strong protagonist and listeners will root for her as she serves her time.—Maggie Knapp, Trinity Valley School, Fort Worth, TX --This text refers to the Audio CD edition.

From Booklist

Bleak. That’s what six months locked up in juvie looks like for 17-year-old Sadie. She isn’t anything like the conniving, lethal girls in surrounding cells. Sadie’s first and only offense was inadvertently trafficking drugs while carting home her strung-out teen-mom sister, Carla. Sadie took the fall to keep Carla out of adult jail and her beloved niece, Lulu, out of foster care. But heroism doesn’t dull Sadie’s fear or her longing: for Lulu, for her motorcycle, for a promising basketball career, for an erstwhile boyfriend. Watkins (What Comes After, 2011) has created a compelling first-person narrative anchored on Sadie’s self-reflection: “Just when you start to feel good about your life because of some little thing that might go well, there are fifty other reminders about where you are and where you’re going to be for a long time, and how you got here, and what everybody back home thinks about you now, and will probably think about you for the rest of your life.” A haunting story of loyalty, regret, and the fervent hope for second chances. Grades 9-12. --Lexi Walters Wright

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

5 of 6 people found the following review helpful By Kelly Sessions on October 23, 2013
Format: Hardcover
Sadie Windas is a responsible kid: a high school junior, talented basketball player, devoted girlfriend, and reliable daughter. Her older sister Carla, on the other hand? Not so much. A selfish single mother with substance abuse issues, Carla relies on her sister and their mother for lots of help in raising her three-year-old daughter Lulu. When Carla and Sadie are arrested by an undercover cop for their alleged roles in a drug transaction -- which is truly a case of stupidity and wrong-place wrong-time factors -- Carla faces a minimum of four years in prison. Not wanting to see her niece grow up without a mother, Sadie makes a risky sacrifice: she takes responsibility for a crime she didn't commit so that her sister can go free. Now she'll be spending the next six months in juvie.

The scenes alternate between the incidents in the juvenile detention facility and the events in Sadie's life up to and immediately following her arrest. As I've mentioned before, I used to work in an alternative high school. I'm not saying that I know what goes on in juvie, but I know what went on at my school, and this book seems pretty spot-on to me. There are "accidental" injuries, chairs being thrown, escapes attempted...and if a fight erupts, all of a sudden half the room is fighting and getting out weeks of pent-up slights and frustrations.

The plot moves at a good pace, and the transitions back to Sadie's pre-juvie days give the reader time to breathe before delving back into the suffocating atmosphere of the detention center.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Maria Beadnell on January 13, 2014
Format: Hardcover
Not a promising start when the summary says the main character didn't do the crime.

The phrase "only guilty man in Shawshank" comes to mind.

This is no shallow "bad teen learns the error of her ways," tome, though. It is a relative of those books, but is a much superior story.

Watkins certainly understands and respects teens, even the ones with horrible challenges. He tells the story in the first person, alternating between before and during the main character's detention, showing the sad beginning that created the bad choices, yet giving us hope that (truly) Sadie might have learned the changing lessons she needs.

[spoiler alert] Watkins slowly and carefully makes the case that Sadie's taking the fall for her sister is not a selfless act of love, but in its way as dishonest as anything that put the others in juvie. Good quote: "Maybe not being guilty wasn't the same as being innocent." Ouch.
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By L. riggs on March 2, 2014
Format: Kindle Edition
This book is extremely well-written, with engaging and realistic characters and a plausible plot. The story progresses rapidly and captures your interest. I was nervously watching the end of the book grow smaller and smaller until sadly, it ended. I am now looking up his other books in hopes they are anywhere near as awesome.
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Format: Kindle Edition
Juvie is a realistic story of one young ladies journey in juvenile detention. The story alternates chapters between the crime she was involved with and her story in detention. Her experience in detention is one teens currently serving time in detention will identify with--especially the relationships with the other girls on the unit. Each of these other characters will be easily recognizable to anyone who has either worked with teens in detention or served time themselves. I run a poetry workshop with teens in detention and have added this to our YA reading list.
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1 of 2 people found the following review helpful By A. Brown on December 1, 2013
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Couldn't put it down. His characters and their experiences are real. Mr. Watkins obviously understands the dreaded juvie system and the kids in it.
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