crime (2)

Book Review: Girl on the Run

Girl on the Run
by Abigail Johnson
Pub Date: 06 Oct 2020 
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LOVED IT! Is there such a thing as a 6 ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐review? 
Fast paced and tight, I read this book in an afternoon. I was engaged by the characters and the plot. I enjoyed being able to anticipate where things were going or where they had come from. I sometimes get frustrated trying to follow a thriller's flow of information, and I sometimes think the authors do it on purpose for some kind of gotcha. Abigail Johnson didn't confuse me, purposefully or not. She allowed the readers to explore both with the characters and to make suppositions on their own without making the readers feel duped or slow-witted.
Recommend this book to readers who like Amazon's Hanna.
As an aside, it did help that I grew up and worked near the story's setting; although, the geography itself could have been anywhere with regards to the story. It was just fun for me to read of places I know: Bridgeton, Cheltenham, Perkasie, Elkins Park, etc. 
I can't wait to put this in to my high school readers' hands.
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Response by Paul Volponi

Paul Volponi's latest novel, Response, takes on the dilemma of a hate crime in a racially divided community. Three African American teens go into Hillsboro, mostly white and Italian, to steal a car and make quick money. The car theft never happens, but as the boys walk home, they are chased by three white teens in a black Land Rover. Asa and Bonds, run for their lives, never looking back. If they did, they would have seen that their friend, Noah, tripped, and fell flat on the sidewalk. With a metal bat, Nick Scat, one of the teens, beats Noah about the head while his friends, Tommy and Joey, steal his sneakers and rip his diamond stud from his ear. Laughing, they get into their Land Rover and race away. Noah calls his friends about the beating and they summon 911. In the hospital, surrounded by his family, Noah is questioned by the police, while his friends in a police car, finger the perpetrators, who claim they were protecting themselves from a robbery. The police investigate the crime to Noah as a hate crime. Volponi uses many different characters' voices to give their own viewpoint and the result is chilling as racial prejudice, stereotyping and bias abound. Noah is a young father and his love for his daughter, Destiny Love, is unquestioned. But Noah is not perfect; he has been arrested before, he is in his fifth year of high school, and is not sure how much he loves DeShawna, Destiny Loves' mother. The reader struggles along with Noah as the court's justice system promises results, his high school and teachers are divided over the hate crime, and life keeps throwing curve balls. It is only with his inner strength, goals for his future, and the love of his family, that Noah waits for the final court judgment. This book is a sure winner, young adult readers will devour it, talk about it, and pass it around. It is a hard fight from the first look at the dark silhouetted figures on the cover to the final bang of the judge's gavel. Also recommended for reluctant readers, grades 9 through 12.
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