Book Reviews of Skate

Skate
Skate
Author: Michael Harmon
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ISBN-13: 9780375875168
ISBN-10: 0375875166
Publication Date: 10/10/2006
Pages: 256
Reading Level: Young Adult
Rating:
  • Currently 4.3/5 Stars.
 2

4.3 stars, based on 2 ratings
Publisher: Knopf Books for Young Readers
Book Type: Hardcover
Reviews: Amazon | Write a Review

2 Book Reviews submitted by our Members...sorted by voted most helpful

reviewed Skate on + 7145 more book reviews
Reviewed by Mechele R. Dillard for TeensReadToo.com

Fifteen-year-old Ian McDermott already has a tough life: He's never really known his father, his mother is a drug addict and spends most of her time on the streets, and he is left caring for his younger brother, Sammy. What he needs from "the system" is some help; what he gets is placed on a list of kids who the principal wants out of his school as soon as possible. And, when he takes a swing at Coach Florence and breaks his jaw, he knows that the principal is going to get his wish. But, Ian cannot go to juvie--who will take care of Sammy? Their mom is out of the question, and if Sammy goes into foster care, Ian knows they will be apart at least three years, until Ian turns eighteen. There is only one option: They have to find their dad.

The last address Ian has for Samuel McDermott is in Walla Walla--quite a walk from Spokane. But they have no choice, so they hit the road before the cops can arrest Ian for assault. Through the cold, the rain, and many nights of hunger, the brothers trudge forward, dodging the authorities, determined to find their father. But, when they finally arrive, will the address prove to be their saving grace, or will their dreams be shattered in this impractical--maybe impossible--quest?

Michael Harmon's first novel hits the mark with its realistic portrayal of teen rage, drug culture, and the bond that exists between brothers. He manages to have his characters speak in voices that are both hilarious and heartbreaking, never taking the reader so far down that hope is lost, but also never reaching for solutions which render the story unbelievable: "Samuel McDermott or not, I was Ian McDermott, and the way I saw life was the way I'd live life" (p. 167).
reviewed Skate on + 7145 more book reviews
Reviewed by Mechele R. Dillard for TeensReadToo.com

Fifteen-year-old Ian McDermott already has a tough life: He's never really known his father, his mother is a drug addict and spends most of her time on the streets, and he is left caring for his younger brother, Sammy. What he needs from "the system" is some help; what he gets is placed on a list of kids who the principal wants out of his school as soon as possible. And, when he takes a swing at Coach Florence and breaks his jaw, he knows that the principal is going to get his wish. But, Ian cannot go to juvie--who will take care of Sammy? Their mom is out of the question, and if Sammy goes into foster care, Ian knows they will be apart at least three years, until Ian turns eighteen. There is only one option: They have to find their dad.

The last address Ian has for Samuel McDermott is in Walla Walla--quite a walk from Spokane. But they have no choice, so they hit the road before the cops can arrest Ian for assault. Through the cold, the rain, and many nights of hunger, the brothers trudge forward, dodging the authorities, determined to find their father. But, when they finally arrive, will the address prove to be their saving grace, or will their dreams be shattered in this impractical--maybe impossible--quest?

Michael Harmon's first novel hits the mark with its realistic portrayal of teen rage, drug culture, and the bond that exists between brothers. He manages to have his characters speak in voices that are both hilarious and heartbreaking, never taking the reader so far down that hope is lost, but also never reaching for solutions which render the story unbelievable: "Samuel McDermott or not, I was Ian McDermott, and the way I saw life was the way I'd live life" (p. 167).