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Skate by Michael Harmon
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1195101,247 (4.08)3



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Showing 5 of 5
I think this book is very good, and many of my friends would enjoy this because it is about a skater and his problems.
4Q, 5P; Cover Art: Awesome!
This book is best suited for middle and highschoolers.
It was selected because of an interesting cover and title.
Grade (of reviewer): 11th
  edspicer | Oct 31, 2010 |
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). ( )
  GeniusJen | Oct 13, 2009 |
Ian is a bad boy with a good heart. His mother is addicted to drugs, his father abandoned the family when his younger brother was born, and Ian faces jail time for assaulting his track coach. Jail time also means that his little brother would be sent into foster care, thus Ian decides to run away with his brother in search of their father. After a series of adventures, the boys find their father, however, the long anticipated reunion turns out differently than Ian expected. The book cover is attractive, as well as the title, and will definitely spark a teen boy’s curiosity. ( )
  mlarge | Aug 16, 2009 |
After punching out a coach at school, Ian takes his little brother Sammy and runs away, leaving behind his crack-addicted mother in the hopes of locating his father and starting a new life. ( )
  odurant | Oct 28, 2007 |
This remarkable first novel features a rebellious, smart outcast who's battling life as he struggles to take care of his little brother. Their crack-addicted mom has essentially abandoned Ian and Sam. Ian manages to protect Sam, but can't protect himself from an unscrupulous high-school principal who's determined to get Ian out of the school. When Ian loses his temper and decks his coach, he decides to take Sam and flee across the state in an effort to find their long-absent father. Harmon has crafted a tale of compelling suspense-part adolescent psychology and part survival tale-painting sharply clear portraits of his characters, particularly Ian. The result is a sense of strong realism and sympathy for the characters, even when they screw up. Were it shorter it would be perfect for reluctant readers, but surely will appeal to a wide audience. A marvelous debut. (Fiction. YA)Kirkus Review (September 1, 2006) (FOLLETT TITLEWAVE) ( )
  Lorrie | May 8, 2007 |
Showing 5 of 5
Skate is a banned book because of the drug use and constant swaring. Ian's mother is a crack addict and she drinks alcohol all the time. It is not a good environment for her kids.
added by Library44 | editLos Angeles Times, Matt Hopkins (Oct 10, 2009)
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0553495100, Mass Market Paperback)

There’s not much keeping Ian McDermott in Spokane, but at least it’s home. He’s been raising Sammy practically on his own ever since their mom disappeared again on one of her binges. They get by, finding just enough to eat and plenty of time to skateboard.

But at Morrison High, Ian is getting the distinct, chilling feeling that the administration wants him and his board and his punked hair gone. Simply gone. And when his temper finally blows–he actually takes a swing at Coach Florence and knocks him cold–Ian knows he’s got to grab Sammy and skate. Run.

Their search for the one relative they can think of, their only hope, leads Ian and Sammy across the entire state of Washington in the cold and rain–and straight into a shocking discovery. Through it all, Ian knows exactly what he has to do: protect Sammy, and let no one split up their family of two. Michael Harmon tells a nuanced and unflinching story of wilderness survival, the fierce bond between brothers, and teen rage–and redemption.

From the Hardcover edition.

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:19:42 -0400)

(see all 2 descriptions)

Facing a disintegrating home life and trouble at school, teenager Ian McDermott runs away with his younger brother to Washington State in search of safety, justice, and their long-absent father.

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