Rikers High

Written by Paul Volponi

Martin Stokes is stuck in Rikers Island jail for what seems like forever. Caught on a steering charge in a sting, a charge any regular lawyer could get him off on in no time, Martin’s public defender is less than helpful. After he is caught up in a knife fight in which his face is cut, he is sent to another area of the facility. In this section he is allowed to go to school. This book is gritty and raw and not for the tenderhearted. The characters seem real and if this is an accurate portrayal of the judicial system it is scarier than any fantasy novel our students could read. I would suggest this book for fans of Walter Dean Myers’ work, but not for under high school age. I was touched by a couple of the teachers who sincerely saw potential and wanted to encourage their students to continue learning.

Review by Kaydean Judy, Granger High Media Center
Rating: ★★★★ (4 stars)
Interest Level: Grades 10-12


Rikers High
Written by Paul Volponi
246 pages
Release Date: February 17, 2011
ISBN: 9780142417782 (hardcover)

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