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Lockdown Hardcover – February 2, 2010
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Myers takes readers inside the walls of a juvenile corrections facility in this gritty novel. Fourteen-year-old Reese is in the second year of his sentence for stealing prescription pads and selling them to a neighborhood dealer. He fears that his life is headed in a direction that will inevitably lead him “upstate,” to the kind of prison you don’t leave. His determination to claw his way out of the downward spiral is tested when he stands up to defend a weaker boy, and the resulting recriminations only seem to reinforce the impossibility of escaping a hopeless future. Reese’s first-person narration rings with authenticity as he confronts the limits of his ability to describe his feelings, struggling to maintain faith in himself; Myers’ storytelling skills ensure that the messages he offers are never heavy-handed. The question of how to escape the cycle of violence and crime plaguing inner-city youth is treated with a resolution that suggests hope, but doesn’t guarantee it. A thoughtful book that could resonate with teens on a dangerous path. Grades 7-10. --Ian Chipman
“A moving tale of a kid who may have made a mistake but who still deserves the modest future he seeks. Refreshingly avoids cliché.” (Bulletin of the Center for Children’s Books (starred review))
“Masterful.” (Kirkus Reviews)
“Myers creates a nuanced, realistic portrait of a teen dealing with incarceration and violence. Myers gets his voice just right.” (Voice of Youth Advocates (VOYA))