Sunday, February 8, 2009

Gordon Korman. THE JUVIE THREE

Gordon Korman is one of those authors where I grab each new book & read it without even knowing or caring what it’s about because I simply know I’ll love it. There are some authors where I read a book or two by them, feel I know what they’re about and I’m done. I can match them to students & that’s that. But other authors, I absolutely have to read everything by them – and Korman is certainly near the top of that list. One thing I admire is his diversity. Wow. He does action (Kidnapped & the Falconers series), comedy (Schooled, Born to Rock, Son of the Mob), adventure (Island series), realistic fiction (Jake Reinvented & Juvie) and more. He just writes a lot of great books!
So this new one – THE JUVIE THREE: It’s about three boys: Gecko, Terence and Arjay. Gecko & Terence are in juvenile detention and Arjay is in prision. Each one is visited by Douglas Healy, who offers them a second chance. He says he can get them out of lockup, but they have to live with him in a halfway house, which is part of a new experimental program. They will live with him, go to school, do community service and attend counseling. It doesn’t leave much time for a social life, but the boys are prepared to agree to almost anything to get out of lockup.
Shortly after settling into their new lives, Douglas is involved in an accident that threatens their entire lives. The boys have to continue living as though everything is normal. Any little screw up will have them thrown back in prison or juvie. But events continue to threaten their secrets. Gecko meets a girl, Terence gets mixed up with some gangbangers, and Arjay starts playing guitar in a band. Clearly, none of those activities would be allowed under the original arrangement. How long will they be able to keep their secret and therefore their freedom?
This was so different from all the comedies that I’ve read lately from Korman.The characters were rich and lively. The story was compelling and so suspenseful at the end that I literally could not put it down!I highly recommend it!

For more on Gordon Korman click here for his website.

I've reviewed many of his books here. Click for the review SCHOOLED or BORN TO ROCK