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Just another hero
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Trade Reviews

  Booklist Review

This concluding volume in the trilogy that began with The Battle of Jericho (2003) and November Blues (2007), both Coretta Scott King Author Honor Books, continues the stories of a group of resilient urban high-school students. While familiar characters appear (November is back at school after giving birth to her baby), this stand-alone title focuses on friends who held a more peripheral place in the previous books. Arielle struggles with her emotionally abusive stepfather, a control freak who ultimately leaves her and her mother homeless. M.I.T.-bound Kofi tries, with the support of his devoted girlfriend, to kick his growing dependency on OxyContin. Draper adds more drama at school: who is responsible for a rash of thefts? Is Eddie, recently returned from juvie, dangerous? Is outsider Osrick capable of violent revenge against the school bullies? The sheer number of issues threatens to overcrowd the story. But the dialogue-driven prose will propel even reluctant readers to the final shocking scenes, and teens will easily connect with Draper's intelligent, spirited, and unflaggingly supportive young people.--Engberg, Gillian Copyright 2009 Booklist

  Kirkus Review

Draper presents the conclusion to the trilogy that began with The Battle of Jericho (2003) and November Blues (2007), both Coretta Scott King Honor books. It is senior year, and Arielle and Kofi take center stage. Arielle is coping with issues at home and school. Her mother's new husband imposes rigid controls, and in addition, she has not always been a good friend to the girls in their circle so she worries about being accepted. Kofi, a brilliant science student, battles a secret addiction to prescription drugs as he frets about paying for college. A rash of burglaries at school casts suspicion on various individuals. But a crisis from an unlikely source explodes on the scene, and the school community works together to try to stop impending tragedy. The well-rounded characters are resilient African-American teens going through normal growing pains while navigating the realities of their communities. The texture and rhythm of contemporary life are woven throughout the narrative, enhancing its readability. Readers of urban fiction will enjoy this and receive a bit more in the bargain. (Fiction. 12 up) Copyright Kirkus Reviews, used with permission.
Jericho, November, Arielle, and their friends must step up big time to prevent a deadly school tragedy in this harrowing conclusion to Sharon M. Draper's Jericho Trilogy.<br> <br> Arielle Gresham, disliked and mistrusted by most of the students at her school, has a secret past, an unbelievably complicated present, and a shaky future. But no one knows or cares because she has managed to alienate anyone who could help her. She tries to cope with problems at school, but difficulties at home almost break her spirit. Then, as the school tries to deal with an outbreak of false fire alarms, a series of thefts, and Arielle discovers that one classmate is addicted to prescriptions drugs, and another who is a victim on vicious online bullying. Outward appearances are seldom what they seem to be--everyone is dealing with something, it's all a matter of how you deal with it, Arielle is figuring out. But one kid can't, and as he starts to crack, could he take the school tumbling down with him?<br> <br> A hero is needed. But what makes a hero?
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