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The Usual Suspects Hardcover – May 21, 2019

4.5 out of 5 stars 29 ratings

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Editorial Reviews

From School Library Journal

Gr 6-8-Middle-school pranksters Thelonius Mitchell and his best friend Nehemiah have been labeled "emotionally delinquent" and put in Mr. Blackmon's special education classroom, where they feel they're always taking the heat for things that aren't their fault (in fairness, they take the heat for some that are, too). When a handgun is discovered on the grounds of a nearby playground, the students in the special education class are the first ones hauled in for the principal's line of questioning. As Nehemiah and Thelonius work together to clear their names, they uncover information that has the power to exonerate them-but it also implicates a classmate who may not deserve to take the fall. Broaddus's experience as a teacher is front and center here; Thelonius's world and his self-awareness as he interacts with the adults around him (particularly Mr. Blackmon) provide insight into contemporary special education, and the thought processes of neuroatypical students and students with learning disabilities. Though the large cast of characters and uneven pacing makes narrowing down the culprit of the gun incident difficult, fans of whodunits with a social conscience will find lots to like here. VERDICT Broaddus's first foray into middle grade fiction is an overall success that provides a rare and much-needed glimpse into the world of exceptional learners.-Katherine Barr, Cameron Village Regional Library, Raleigh, NCα(c) Copyright 2011. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

Review

“Readers will love watching these two uniquely gifted black boys explore the complicated tensions between impulses and choices, independence and support, turnin’ up and getting through.” -- Kirkus Reviews (starred review)

“A rare and much-needed glimpse into the world of exceptional learners.” -- School Library Journal

“[Broaddus] sheds revealing light on the nature of systemic profiling, based on class, race, and neurodiversity, at schools and within society.” -- Publishers Weekly

Through its discerning, young Black protagonist, [The Usual Suspects] tackles difficult subjects with nuance, humor, and heart, always bringing it back to the characters. A great choice for upper middle-graders in search of a fun and meaningful read. -- Booklist

"I want this book, so full of wit and intelligence, raw honesty and clever plotting, to be so well known that when I say “The Usual Suspects” to a room of librarians, their first thoughts involve neither Casablanca or Keyser Soze but this work by Maurice Broaddus."
-- School Library Journal Review of the Day

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Product details

  • Publisher ‏ : ‎ Katherine Tegen Books (May 21, 2019)
  • Language ‏ : ‎ English
  • Hardcover ‏ : ‎ 288 pages
  • ISBN-10 ‏ : ‎ 0062796313
  • ISBN-13 ‏ : ‎ 978-0062796318
  • Reading age ‏ : ‎ 8 - 12 years
  • Lexile measure ‏ : ‎ 720L
  • Grade level ‏ : ‎ 3 - 7
  • Item Weight ‏ : ‎ 12.8 ounces
  • Dimensions ‏ : ‎ 5.5 x 0.97 x 8.25 inches
  • Customer Reviews:
    4.5 out of 5 stars 29 ratings

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4.5 out of 5 stars
4.5 out of 5
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