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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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188861,119 (3.33)1
Sixteen-year-old Rasheed is smart, tough and a survivor. In his neighborhood, he has to be. The streets are run by a gang called the E Street Locals, and they've been trying to jump him in since he was a child. So far, he's managed to escape their clutches. But the gang is not his only problem. Rasheed's sister, Daneeka, was paralyzed in a drive-by shooting, and now she's confined to a wheelchair, mentally frozen at the age of nine. His mother is an addict. His father hasn't been heard from in years. High school is no safer than the streets, so Rasheed seeks solace at the local university campus. There he meets a young woman named Lanaia who takes an interest in him. He also bumps up against a police officer who he thinks at first is hassling him just because he's black. But eventually Rasheed realizes that the officer is only pushing him to become a better person. Though he can't escape his home life, or the gang, as easily as he'd like, Rasheed does learn some valuable lessons in his struggles: you and you alone are accountable for the decisions you make in life; even though the world is not a fair place, you can still accomplish whatever you set your mind to; and we all become stronger when we admit we need someone to lean on.… (more)

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Showing 1-5 of 8 (next | show all)
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 '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 |
This review was written for LibraryThing Early Reviewers.
Jumped In is about a young man living in a hard city. There are gangbangers that rule the streets, and he lives in fear of getting "Jumped In", which is when the whole gang beats you up and then you're stuck being in a member for life. He wants to become so much more, but can he escape the hopelessness of what seems his destiny?

For a short story, this was a good read. It isn't too violent, and you sympathize with the guy. The ending is a bit rushed, but overall it is a good read and a look into society's forgotten. ( )
  lesindy | Apr 18, 2017 |
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