Saturday, April 9, 2011

SKATE FREAK by Lesley Choyce

When Quinn's mom decided to head west to attend a training school to become a heavy equipment operator, she left Quinn and his dad behind.  Without a job to support them, Quinn's dad announced that the two of them would be leaving their little seaside town as well. 

Now Quinn is living in the city and he hates it.  He has already been targeted by the punks at school who call him a Freak.  The one place he feels comfortable is on his skateboard, but even then he is harassed when he shows up at the skate park. 

Skating is Quinn's release.  When the skate park is filled with little kids and annoying teens, Quinn heads for the streets.  The city has a lot to offer in the way of illegal skating entertainment, but there are also more cops around to stop him from riding in off-limit public places.  One cop catches him riding the railing of a church and stops to give him some grief.  Instead of hauling him in for destruction of property, the cop takes Quinn's board and tells him he'll need to bring a parent with him to pick it up at the station.

Quinn's dad isn't terribly upset when he drives Quinn to the police station.  In fact, the trip nets Dad with a job replacing the station's janitor who recently quit.  Having a job is a good thing for Quinn's dad, but it also means less of a chance of them leaving the city and returning to Quinn's hometown.

There is one bright spot in Quinn's life - Jasmine.  When he sees her sticking her skateboard in her locker at school, he wants desperately to talk to her, but talking to girls has never been his strength.  Fortunately, he bumps into her one Sunday morning at the skate park.  They hit it off and begin meeting on Sunday mornings when the park is deserted.  She even starts to help him with his school work enough that his grades begin to improve.  Things seem to be working out for once, but of course, that doesn't last long.

Author Lesley Choyce has written over sixty-eight books.  SKATE FREAK is one written for Orca Currents and is written with the reluctant reader in mind.  Barely over 100 pages, it offers a high interest story at an easy reading level.  I had to sneak it out of my classroom to get a chance to read it.

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