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Kick Hardcover – February 1, 2011


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Editorial Reviews

From School Library Journal

Gr 6-9-In an interesting joint effort, Myers teamed with high school student Workman to produce this novel about a soccer player who runs into trouble helping a friend. Veteran police sergeant Jerry Brown is asked to look into the case of a 13-year-old boy who crashed a car belonging to his friend's father. Brown takes a special interest in the case when he is informed that the boy, Kevin Johnson, is the son of an officer who was killed in the line of duty. As Brown delves more deeply, he begins to suspect that the friend's family has something to hide. He also develops a bond with Kevin, who, although angry and troubled, is basically kindhearted and well-intentioned. Workman wrote the chapters narrated by the boy, and Myers wrote those narrated by Brown. This approach works quite well in terms of narrative voice, as Myers's more polished style reflects an adult perspective, while Workman's less-refined prose seems appropriate to his character's outlook and experience. There is some exciting soccer action, and the interaction between Brown and Kevin is heartwarming, yet natural and unforced. While some may feel that the denouement falls a little flat, the novel should have wide appeal to soccer fans, aspiring writers, and boys from difficult family circumstances who are trying to figure out how to make their way in the world.-Richard Luzer, Fair Haven Union High School, VT (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

From Booklist

On September 3, 2007, acclaimed YA author Myers received a fan e-mail from a young New Jersey teen named Ross Workman. Two hours later, Myers extended a remarkable invitation: �Okay, let�s make a story.� Amazingly, they did. And here�s the result, the story of a 13-year-old boy named Kevin in trouble with the law. Because he is the son of a fallen policeman, the judge in the case asks a veteran police officer, Sergeant Brown, to investigate. Told in alternating chapters by the coauthors, the book features a dramatic subplot about Kevin�s soccer team�s participation in an important tournament. Workman is a genuine talent, writing short, declarative sentences that move the narrative forward with assurance and a page-turning tempo. Myers, of course, is a master, and it�s fascinating to see him writing from the first-person perspective of an adult. The respective voices and characters play off each other as successfully as a winning, high-stakes soccer match. How about another collaboration? Grades 7-12. --Michael Cart
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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 208 pages
  • Publisher: HarperTeen; First Edition edition (February 1, 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0062004891
  • ISBN-13: 978-0062004895
  • Product Dimensions: 5.5 x 0.8 x 8.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 10.4 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (14 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,120,072 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Walter Dean Myers is a New York Times bestselling and critically acclaimed author who has garnered much respect and admiration for his fiction, nonfiction, and poetry for young people. Winner of the first Michael L. Printz Award, he is considered one of the preeminent writers for children. He lives in Jersey City, New Jersey, with his family.

Customer Reviews

4.2 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

5 of 6 people found the following review helpful By Lauren on February 19, 2011
Format: Hardcover
Fast paced and inspiring, Kick is a book that sure to become a favorite of many teens out there who love sport related reads with a touch of mystery.

Kick tells the story of Kevin Johnson and Sergeant Brown and the bond they began to form a unquie bond. Kevin is the typical young man. He loves soccer more than anything, and he's a pretty good student as well as friend. Though, everything changes the night Kevin is arrested for taking a car without permission. Soon enough he lands an offense on his previously clean record, and the touch, sensible, and somewhat sweet Sergeant Brown enters Kevin's life with hope that he'll be able to get Kevin's life back on track again. Little do they know that everything is soon to change yet again, that soon they will have a great friendship. But will it be able to take the heat of a possible future court date as well as the secrets and confessions that keep tumbling out about that fateful night? Only time and more pages can tell in this read that will leave Myers fans cheering for Kevin and Sergeant Brown every step of the way!

The best part of Kick is hands down the characters because both were likable and relatable. Kevin was the average teen boy, one that I'm sure boys and girls alike will have no problem relating to, and while Brown was tough on the edges on first, it was easy to see he was a softie at heart. One of the things I loved most about Sergeant Brown and Kevin was the friendship they began to form over the course of the book, because not only was it touching but inspiring as well to see Kevin began to look up to Brown as his mentor and step in father figure so to say.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By PDXbibliophile on August 1, 2013
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Walter Dean Myers, the first author to receive the YA lit lifetime achievement award, probably understands teens better than most parenting experts. Kick also shows his understanding of the workings of the teen brain. The 13 year old protagonist is just trying to help a friend and keep a promise. His good intentions have him headed to court and possibly J.D.H. The voice of Kevin is written by a high school student who became friends with Myers via fan e-mails. Both writers created a sweet story with no bad guys, well intentioned yet flawed adults and lots of great soccer action. I hope Sergeant Brown shows up in future Myers novels mentoring other youths headed down a destructive path. Its short length makes Kick a good choice for reluctant readers.
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Format: Paperback
Thirteen year old Kevin lives in a middle class suburban town with his mother and Abuela. His father, a policeman, was killed recently in the line of duty. Kevin’s a good kid. In the throes of soccer season, he’s focused on helping his team qualify for the semi-finals and proving to his coach he has more than just star player potential. He’s never been in trouble. Until the night he’s pulled over on the side of the highway with his best friend, Christy, driving her dad’s car. When she begs him not to give anything up to the cops, Kevin keeps his mouth shut. It’s not until the next morning after he’s spent the night in jail, he finds out he’s a felon, facing charges of Grand Larceny and kidnapping. Sgt. Brown, a cop near retirement, agrees to participate in a new mentoring program for teens. A thirteen year old felon, though, is way more than he signed on for. But as soon as he meets Kevin, he can tell there’s something Kevin and Christy are hiding.

What really happened that night?

If Kevin and Sgt. Brown can trust each other, they might be able to figure it out and turn things around before it’s too late.

Walter Dean Myers has been writing young adult books for years, this one was a bit of a change for him as he teamed up with Ross Workman, a teenage fan, to co-write the book. The first few pages of the book include a selection of the emails exchanged between the pair, from the initial idea to write together right through to getting the news that it was going to be published. I found these a very endearing read particularly the advice given by Myers to Workman during the writing process.

The plot is fairly straight forward, the well-meaning cop trying to get a former colleague’s son back on the straight and narrow.
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2 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Julie A. Smith on February 21, 2011
Format: Library Binding
A 13-year-old soccer player, Kevin Johnson, the son of a police officer killed in the line of duty, tries to help his friend Christy McNamara and ends up arrested. Because he doesn't want to betray the trust of his friend, he clams up and won't explain why he was driving her father's car without permission, and is arrested for auto theft. The judge in the case, Bill Kelly, calls in Sergeant Jerry Brown, an old friend, to work with Kevin-to try to keep him from going to jail and to find out what happened the night he was arrested. Ad he visits Kevin, attending his soccer games and trying to coax him out, Kevin thinks he has found a way to help the police with another case and begins investigating on his own.

The beginning of this book shows the exchange of emails between Ross Workman and Walter Dean Myers that started and continued throughout the collaboration process - this was very interesting to me. It was fun to read the excitement in Ross's emails when Walter suggested they work together.

Narrated in almost seamless alternating chapters by Kevin (Ross) and Sgt. Brown (Walter), the reader can tell that Ross has great writing potential, and I applaud writers such as Mr. Myers who work to encourage young readers to write as well.

The plot was fairly simple and easy to follow, and although there were places where this adult reader thought things could have been more developed and even (for instance, there's a spot where the sergeant becomes unreasonably angry with Kevin during an exchange, and I couldn't figure out why), it seems as though it would be a great read for middle and high school readers, especially reluctant boy readers.
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