Cowan, Brad V. Street Kings
1 March 2013, James Lorimer and Company
E ARC from Netgalley.com
Also reviewed at Young Adult Books Central
Cale lives for skating, and is bound and determined to do the skateboarding trick that will get him into the Seven Stairs Crew. He does, but the main person who needs to see it is away, so he keeps working on it. His single mother is struggling to make ends meet as an artist in their small Canadian town, so he tries to earn the money for his skateboarding equipment himself. When he sees that there is a Spring Skate contest, he is encouraged to enter it by J.T., whose family situation is even worse. It is J.T. who also encourages him to lie to his mother and go with a group of older skaters to a neighboring town, where they have some wild adventures evading the police. Another group of skaters, the Mental Posse, gives Cale a hard time because they realize he is good, and break his new skateboard. This makes him even more determined to enter the competition in order to prove himself as well as get some money.
Strengths: This was a great skateboarding book with lots of descriptions of skateboarding tricks and action, as well as a pleasant plot that did not involve building a skate park. I could use 20 books just like this, so I hope that this is a series!
Weaknesses: Argh! Follett does not have this title! It is published in paperback, so I was hoping they would do a prebind. There does seem to be a hardcover available through Amazon Canada, but I'll wait and see if I can get one elsewhere. Canadians must be great skateboarders; at least more of them write about it!