Wednesday, August 06, 2014

Excellent for home or in the classroom!

The Take Back of Lincoln Junior High by Roseanne Cheng is a fun, yet thought-provoking novel for the middle school years. The author builds her story around the timely topic of the growing practice of commercial sponsorships (and financial support) of public spaces, in this case, a junior high school. As the story unfolds, it reveals both the positive and negative aspects of the impact that such sponsorship and product placement has on the school in a manner that is easy to read, understand, and enjoy.

The pre-teen protagonists, Andrew, Hannah, and Jackson, are highly likeable characters and act true to age. The setting, situations, and the interactions between the characters felt genuine and actually took me back to my own junior high experiences. It felt that real.

The Take Back of Lincoln Junior High not only delves into the issue of commercial sponsorship but addresses the everyday problems of being a kid and growing up. There is suspense and mystery. Who is the mysterious new student, Liam, and what’s he up to? Will Andrew get the girl? Will Andrew and Jackson resolve their problems and become true friends?

I think that this book would be enjoyed by young readers, the middle school crowd, and parents reading along with their children. The author's writing is clear and simple for the younger folks and interesting enough to hold the attention of adults. Additionally, it would be a great classroom tool, and to that end, the author has included a study guide at the end of the book with specific activities designated for each chapter as the story unfolds.

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