“Responsible”

responsible2Responsible by Darlene Ryan

I know everyone is focused on finals and the winter break. Study hard and then then relax with a good book over the holidays!

 I’m thinking about the Read 180 classes because they are the first I’ll see for book talks when we come back from break. So I read Responsible this week. It’s from the Orca Soundings series.

Kevin Frazier moves from school to school because his dad’s work isn’t stable. Dad works in construction, and he moves to where the jobs are. For Kevin, that has meant four moves in only one school year. Still, he’s trying to get along.

Kevin is befriended by Nick who is pretty much a school bully. He acts like he is involved in mishaps—knocking into people, accidentally tripping them, etc., but, of course, he’s hurting others on purpose, for fun.

One girl in the school, Erin, refuses to put up with Nick. It seems he is on her case because she wouldn’t go out with him. Every time he does something bad to her, she calls him out. Erin tells the school vice principal. Accuses Nick loudly in the halls.  Nick doesn’t like that Erin isn’t acting like a silent lamb. Now he’s really out to get her.

Although Kevin is not involved in the plan to really damage Erin, he learns about it by accident. And he knows that standing up to Nick will mean that he is going to get badly hurt. What should he do? Is there any way out of the mess? Why is doing the right thing so hard?

High school housekeeping: Responsible has a Lexile level of 620, which puts it at about the 4th-5th grade reading level. As part of the Orca Soundings series, it’s meant for high school students working on their reading skills. And for those students, Responsible is a great choice. I’m amazed at how much character development and story the author can pack into this little book.  I became so worried about Erin and what would happen to her—she is in far more trouble than she realizes. And then for Kevin, too, who has a terrible dilemma. Darlene Ryan has done a great job here, and I’m looking forward to more of her books. If you are looking for other hi-low books, I’ve reviewed some on this blog. One of my favorite hi-low authors is Norah McClintock.

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About Victoria Waddle

I'm a high school librarian, formerly an English teacher. I love to read and my mission is to connect people with the right books. To that end, I read widely--from the hi-lo for reluctant high school readers to the literary adult novel for the bibliophile.
This entry was posted in Controversial Issue/Debate, Family Problems, Fiction, Hi-Low/Quick Read, Young Adult Literature and tagged , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

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