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Jumped In (Rapid Reads) by William Kowalski
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Jumped In (Rapid Reads)

by William Kowalski

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This review was written for LibraryThing Early Reviewers.
Rasheed’s life is limited by the E Street Locals. They run the neighbourhood, and if he's “jumped in” (made a member of the gang by surviving a beating from several of its members), the only way to leave the gang is in a coffin. So understandably, Rasheed is wary when he walks the streets. His home life has been tough, but Rasheed is smart and wants to get out of the neighbourhood, go to college, and support his family. But one day the E Street Locals catch him out, and Rasheed has some tough decisions to make.

JUMPED IN is a short, sharp book that invites critical reading and discussion. It raises important questions about structural racism, and its frankness around bias and hatred may make some readers uncomfortable. But it’s the job of writers to make us uncomfortable, and I really admire the work William Kowalski has done in this small novel.

Rapid Reads books are valuable for adults with low literacy skills, adults learning English as new immigrants to Canada and the United States, and high school students identified as hi/lo readers. These books are also great for any reader who enjoys a fast-paced story. JUMPED IN is a particularly strong novel in the series; I recommend it. ( )
  laVermeer | May 29, 2017 |
This review was written for LibraryThing Early Reviewers.
Jumped In tells the story of a young boy trying to survive in a bad neighborhood without getting jumped into a gang. The general premise of the story was good and the main character was well developed. Unfortunately, I did not like the layout as a rapid read. Though rapid reads are becoming more popular, they leave a lot to be desired. I didn't feel like there was enough background to feel connected to some of the characters. The supposed "villain" of the story was one dimensional at best, making it difficult to feel anything after his ultimate take down. ( )
  MelTorq | May 15, 2017 |
This review was written for LibraryThing Early Reviewers.
This book is a well-told and engaging book, containing genuinely interesting characters who interact with one another in a truly unique way. The author has a lot to say, but, unfortunately (perhaps due to the desire to create a "rapid read" book), reading this feels like standing next to a deep, translucent pond but being distracted by the stone skipping across the surface -- there's a lot of potential for depth, but is just isn't realized. Perhaps that is the purpose of the book; however, the resulting work brings with it the impression that the author is hurrying from event to event in an effort to finish his tale within a certain maximum page count. I walked away feeling like I was missing something and resenting the fact that the author didn't divide the tale into two or three short books that allowed us more time to enjoy the world that he had created. ( )
  mrbove | May 2, 2017 |
This review was written for LibraryThing Early Reviewers.
This 'rapid read' was interesting and well-told. The central character deals with poverty, abuse, gangs, drugs, racism and a yearning for something different. He meets both good and bad people along the way and struggles to figure out who he is and what his path is meant to be. Enjoyable. ( )
  dmerrell | Apr 24, 2017 |
This review was written for LibraryThing Early Reviewers.
Rasheed lives with his addict mother and paralyzed sister in a slum ruled by a local gang. His sister was paralyzed when a shot in a gang fight went wild. He dreams of going to college and studying criminal justice, but doesn't even go to school. The gang wants him, and Rasheed has to decide where his loyalties are. ( )
  lilibrarian | Apr 19, 2017 |
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