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Take Me There Kindle Edition

4.2 out of 5 stars 20 customer reviews

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Length: 338 pages Word Wise: Enabled Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled

We Are the Ants
We Are the Ants
A brand-new novel about a teenage boy who must decide whether or not the world is worth saving. Hardcover | Kindle book

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Editorial Reviews

From School Library Journal

Gr 9 Up–Dylan Dawson, 17, is trying to stay on the right path. After a stint in juvenile hall for possession of stolen property, he's keeping his distance from gang activity and wants to do well at his job. However, it seems everything is going against him: a dad in prison, an alcoholic mom, and, on top of that, he can't read. He seeks solace in poems, and in Jess, a rich-girl love interest. Inevitably, he finds himself in a bad situation, running from the law and the gang, and headed to Texas to discover the truth about his father's trangression and his unknown past. Dean deftly portrays Dylan's tough-guy exterior along with his soft side through the poetry that floats in his head and is interspersed throughout the novel. The supporting characters, including a loyal but none-too-wise best friend and surly grandmother, are well drawn and believable. The story moves quickly as the mystery of Dylan's father's crime unfolds, partially revealed through chapters of a memoir the man wrote in prison and spurred on by his impending execution. At times, the book's message is a bit too obvious, but readers will empathize with Dylan, who is sincere in a desire to reform but can't seem to escape his circumstances.–Shawna Sherman, Hayward Public Library, CAα(c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

From Booklist

Seventeen-year-old Dylan's father is about to be executed for shooting a policeman 11 years earlier, and Dylan is determined to get to his dad's Texas prison to say goodbye. Dylan and his friend are also on the run: from the police, for violating probation after serving time in juvie, and from gangsters. Dylan's long, first-person narrative spins out a plot that gets more and more convoluted, with dramatic vignettes that flip between past and present as Dylan hides that he can barely read, hooks up with sexy Jess, takes on his fierce grandmother, and confronts his own guilt. Jess is too perfect to be true, but the family secrets create powerful drama. Is Dad protecting someone? Why does Dylan remember handling the gun when he was six years old? What really happened that night? Dylan's doubts reinforce the universal father-son tensions and the horror of capital punishment as tension builds to the execution by lethal injection. Grades 9-12. --Hazel Rochman

Product Details

  • File Size: 738 KB
  • Print Length: 338 pages
  • Publisher: Simon Pulse; 1 edition (July 1, 2010)
  • Publication Date: July 20, 2010
  • Sold by: Simon and Schuster Digital Sales Inc
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B003L785OM
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Enabled
  • Lending: Not Enabled
  • Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #698,353 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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More About the Author

I was born and raised in Southern California but moved with my family to Lubbock, Texas when I was fifteen. Right before my senior year, my family moved to Happy, Texas, population 635. My senior class had sixteen graduates. It was culture shock, to say the least.

I got involved in journalism and my teacher told me that I had to participate in the University Interscholastic League Competitions. I didn't know what that was, but there wasn't anything else to do so I signed up for news writing, editorial writing, and poetry interpretation. I was an alternate to state in poetry interpretation and suddenly became eligible for several scholarships. I received a sizable one and became the first person in my family to go to college.

Years later, I wrote my first novel, COMFORT, from the point of view of a teenage boy in Comfort, TX from a dysfunctional alcoholic family who competes in Poetry Interpretation in the UIL. His mother makes him quit everything else (band and football) to work day and night in the family cafe. There's also an older girl encouraging him to get involved in poetry, so that is a big inspiration.

In many ways, poetry has literally changed my life.

Music has also been a huge influence. I received my bachelor's degree in music therapy from West Texas State University - Now West Texas A&M. I spent my crucial teen and young adult years in Texas and many of my stories take place there.

TAKE ME THERE is about a boy, Dylan Dawson, who flees from Southern California (running from the law and a violent gang) to go looking for his father who is in prison in Texas. Dylan can't read or write but he dreams of being a poet.

I have a lot of experience with teenagers with learning disabilities. I received my master's degree in communicative disorders from the University of New Mexico and have worked with students of all ages as a speech-language pathologist. I currently work at a local high school. My verse novel, FORGET ME NOT, explores many relevant teen topics like cyber bullying and suicide.

Spending every day in high school has also changed my life and my perspective. People often ask me if I write about my students. To be totally honest, I write about myself, but because I'm around teenagers all the time, I am constantly reminded of the pain, angst, heartache, and hope of those formative years. They inspire me to remember what it was like. Those are the stories I love telling most.

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback
Dylan met Wade during suspension at Downey High. They also spent eight months in juvie together and now, just when Dylan thought life was getting better, they are fleeing California and heading for Texas.

Dylan: He had feelings for a girl named Jess, but he didn't think he was worthy of her attention. He was illiterate and he was once a wannabe gangbanger and he'd been in trouble. He also had a father in jail on death row, a mother who was depressed and a grandmother with an attitude. I felt bad for Dylan quite often while reading this story. This young man experienced lots of disappointments and ended up in quite a few bad situations; trouble seemed to follow him wherever he went.

Wade: I blame him for some of Dylan's troubles. I felt like he was pulling Dylan down. And the position he put Dylan in - the reason why they had to leave town - wasn't right at all. "Be not conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind" - is the scripture (Romans 12:2) that comes to mind when I think of Wade. He felt like his choices were limited, like there was no good place in the world for him, so he did bad things to fit in with bad people. But then he met someone who helped him to change his negative thinking and I was happy for him. I was disappointed, though, when he believed he'd go to hell if he had sex outside of marriage. The person who told him this should have known that ending up in hell or heaven has nothing to do with works (Ephesians 2:4-10).

Take Me There is a page-turner; there are emotionally intense scenes that kept me on the edge of my seat! It's good movie material, really. There is profanity but it's not excessive. The ending was disappointing, because I was hoping things were going to turn out differently, but the last poem touched my heart. I believe anyone who reads this book will learn some very important lessons.
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Format: Paperback
Take Me There is a story that leaves a lasting impression on you days after you read it. It's one of those books that really makes you think. What Carolee presents in Take Me There is an important message about illiteracy and the limited options illiteracy presents. It's also about choices, as the choices that are made today can and will determine where we end up a few months from now, to years from now.

Take Me There is the story of Dylan, our broken, illiterate boy who tries to do the right thing. No matter how hard Dylan tries to stay away from trouble, it follows him. When something bad happens, he and his best friend Wade run from California to TX. Trouble always has a way of finding Dylan, even on the run.

Dylan is more than a tragic character, he's full of insight and wants to make something of himself, but he feels he can't do that until he meets his father who's sitting on death row in TX. As Dylan tries to piece together the tragic events that locked his father up, he learns more about himself and comes to understand why his father did what he did. What I like about Dylan, is even though he's a bad boy, he tries to do everything he can to do something better with his life. Carolee provides us with an insight to Dylan's more sensitive side by sharing his poems through out the book.

Carolee provides a whole cast of strong supporting characters for Dylan and while at times you want to yell at them, in the end each of their personal strengths shine through. From his best friend Wade who's the reason behind their run from the law to TX, to Jess, Dylan's girlfriend. Jess is the beautiful California girl who comes from a rich family, but even rich families aren't perfect and Jess's character is one I really liked getting to know more about.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This is a heart wrenching take on a young man trying to make his life better. He seems to get no breaks in life and yet still tries to do the right thing. Although his best friend Wade continually brings him down, Dylan never stops looking out for him. Dylan is also pugnacious and resourceful which makes his journey to find the truth about his father and his past that much more challenging and eventually gratifying. Throughout his struggles the reader is comforted that he has found Jess who he is completed devoted to, as she is to him. This is great novel and although depressing at times paints a picture of hope for the future.
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Format: Paperback
Why oh why was this book marketed as romance? The cover and description basically guarantee that this book will never get the recognition it deserves, which makes me really sad. I was expecting a Simone Elkeles-esque romance, but that is most definitely not the case. Take Me There is a dark, gritty story with a smaller romance storyline that somehow became the focus of the marketing team.

The story is so, so good. Maybe it makes sense the synopsis focuses on romance, because there's so many facets of the story, you couldn't possibly fit them in into a paragraph or two. There's the family storyline - Dylans' father is on deathrow for a murder he may or may not have committed, and Dylan goes to visit him for the first time, causing him to try to figure out what really happened eleven years ago. And there's the more recent drama: Dylan and his friend Wade are on the run from the cops as well as members of a gang they got wrapped up in. Both storylines are full of suspense, making Take Me There read, in parts, like a mystery or action novel, and it is impossible to put down.

Even more captivating than the action, though, is Dylan's character and the emotional side of things. I loved Dylan so much; he has definitely made some mistakes, but his flaws only make him more loveable. Carolee Dean's writing blurs the lines between good and bad - honestly, none of the people in this book are all good, but the horrible situations they've gotten themselves or each other into makes it easy to understand where all of them are coming from. My heart broke for Dylan, Wade, and Dylan's father so many times.

The only aspect of the story I didn't love was the romance. I understand why Dylan's relationship with Jess is necessary for the development of the story, but I just didn't feel it.
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