Run for Your Life

Marilyn Levy, Author
Marilyn Levy, Author Houghton Mifflin Harcourt (HMH) $15 (224p) ISBN 978-0-395-74520-5
Paperback - 217 pages - 978-0-698-11608-5
Prebound-Other - 217 pages - 978-0-606-12802-5
Prebound-Sewn - 978-0-613-05807-0
Prebound-Glued - 217 pages - 978-0-7807-7496-4
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Kisha, 13, and her younger brother are the third generation of their family to live in an Oakland, Calif., housing project. Her father, out of work for two years, has grown embittered, and while drugs and violence are part of everyday life, they haven't lost their power to scare Kisha. But when a new youth director at the community center organizes a girls' track team, he instills hope, discipline and a sense of belonging in Kisha and her friends-enough to help them withstand the pressures of the streets and the abuse many of them encounter at home. Cataloguing instances of teenage motherhood, domestic violence, gang activity, etc., Levy (Rumors and Whispers; No Way Home) constructs a grim mosaic of inner-city life. However, her characters' perceptions and language don't seem especially authentic; with few exceptions narrator Kisha's voice could just as easily be that of a suburbanite. Ages 10-14. (Apr.)
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