Alonge, LJ Justin (Blacktop), 142 pgs. Grosser & Dunlap (Penguin), 2016. $6.99. Content: Language: PG13 (12 swears: 6S, 1F, 3A, 4Misc ); Mature Content: PG13 Violence: PG13
Justin and his friend Frank spend a ton of time together. Part of their time is making mischief (like throwing a brick through a store window). Another part of their time is playing basketball, they want to get together a team to beat the Ghost Town crew. In the mean time Justin is distracted by his alcoholic father and mostly girls.
This high interest low reading level book is perfect of high school students looking to connect with an authentic voice. The author builds a realistic world with fully fleshed out characters who are learning about themselves through trial and error. The basketball component is there, but the book is really about Justin and his life. Contains slang, street talk, violence, drug and alcohol references, and real life issues.
HS –ADVISABLE Reviewer: Stephanie Elementary School Librarian & Author.