This is the intriguing story from the viewpoint of a teen in the wrong place at the wrong time.  His cousin's shooting death by a police officer is tragic and painful, but Clay must choose whether to tell the truth about his cousin's death, or to twist the truth to help a politician, who believes that he does have the best interest of the African-American community at heart.   This book tries to answer the question of who we can trust: politicians, police officers, our families, or the families that we make? This book does include swear words, but they sound natural, not forced and unnecessary.  I purchased this book for my library and have not seen it for more than a day since it's been on the shelf. I recommend this for high school students, and possibly some urban middle schools.

Recommended by Amy Coward, Librarian, Virginia, USA


Clay is in a drug rehab program because he was caught with pot and missed too much school. His cousin Addison ends up in rehab because it is his option to prison for selling crack. The estranged cousins become close during this time until they are chasing a guy one night and Addison is shot by the police, who mistake a wallet they find for the guy’s they were chasing, but it’s actually Addison’s. Should Clay tell them that Addison was using the wallet to point it like a gun or should he lie and say he was showing his ID? Clay’s relationship with a dog is used to show Clay’s maturity. When it looks like Clay has mastered the dog, he’s attacked on their next meeting.

Reviewer’s Note: The writing is uneven and seems poorly edited.

224 pages    978-0142408445   Ages 13 and up  (Grades 8 and up)

Recommended by Edi Campbell, Lbrarian, Indiana, USA

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Read alikes: Black and White; Rikers High; Rucker Park Setup; The Final Four  (all by Paul Volponi)


Cousins Clay and Addison were like brothers, growing up together in the projects, until they were ripped apart by a family argument. when they are reunited in a drug-treatment program, they try to work out their issues like a family. but one night, one wrong decision, leaves Clay shaken and Addison dead. And in the rash of events that follow, the truth of what actually happened on the rooftop of the apartment building is caught up in a clash of politics and racial issues. will Clay be able to rise above the lies and face the truth?--from the publisher

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