Picture This by Norah McClintock
Ethan is living in his second foster home when he is enrolled in Picture This is a program for troubled teens. He’s learning photography skills and he’s good at it—creative and serious.
So when someone follows Ethan down a dark alley and tells him to hand over his backpack or be shot, Ethan doesn’t want to give up his backpack. There’s nothing of value in it except his camera. And that camera has all the pictures for his project on freedom.
Ethan thinks that the mugger doesn’t really have a gun. Who would hold up a teen with just a backpack? No one but a drug addict looking for a few bucks. So he’s surprised when he makes a break for it and is shot at.
Ethan has enemies, sure. The gang the Nine-Eights are after him since he defended his friend against them. But the guy who keeps following him isn’t really one of them, even if he shows up with them. Why does he want to kill Ethan? And how will this affect Ethan’s new life, with parents that actually care for him?
High school housekeeping: I really wanted to read a few books over the holiday weekend in anticipation of the READ 180 class visits this week. Picture This was one and Game was the other. The Lexile level for Picture This is 610, which runs in the 4th-5th grade reading levels. It’s a very short, quick read that deals with an at-risk main character and has a good mystery. The author is one of my favorites for teens working on their reading skills. Everything I’ve read by Norah McClintock works well. Picture This is no exception.