Game ) introduces an inner-city teen in the jaws of a crisis: 17-year-old Lil J is holed up in an aba"/>

Dope Sick

Walter Dean Myers, Author . HarperTeen/Amistad $16.99 (186p) ISBN 978-0-06-121477-6

Using both harsh realism and a dose of the fantastic, Myers (Game ) introduces an inner-city teen in the jaws of a crisis: 17-year-old Lil J is holed up in an abandoned building, believed to have shot an undercover cop in a drug bust, while police officers assemble in the street below. As he searches for a way out, Lil J is stopped by Kelly, an eerily calm vagrant who invites him to “cop a squat and check yourself out on the tube.” Kelly's TV not only plays scenes from Lil J's life but projects what will happen if he sticks with his current plan: suicide. Shocked, Lil J considers Kelly's question, “If you could take back one thing you did... what would it be?” Aided by Kelly's TV, Lil J revisits pivotal moments and wrestles with his fate. As expected, Myers uses street-style lingo to cover Lil J's sorry history of drug use, jail time, irresponsible fatherhood and his own childhood grief. A didn't-see-that-coming ending wraps up the story on a note of well-earned hope and will leave readers with plenty to think about. Ages 14–up. (Feb.)

Reviewed on: 01/19/2009
Release date: 02/01/2009
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FORMATS
Peanut Press/Palm Reader - 208 pages - 978-0-06-176695-4
Open Ebook - 208 pages - 978-0-06-176692-3
Prebound-Glued - 186 pages - 978-0-606-09846-5
Hardcover - 186 pages - 978-0-06-121478-3
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