Sunday, May 13, 2012

Middle Grade Monday-- Sk8er

Barwin, Steven. Sk8er.
Jordy Lee and his friends who live in Toronto near Kensington Market all love to skateboard, but Jordy's parents (who run a local fruit and vegetable market) don't like him skating because they think he is a public nuisance. Because they work long hours, they would rather he stay home and take care of his younger brother. When a new skatepark opens and a contest is announced, Jordy wants to compete, because his board is old and he could use the gift card to a skate shop to buy a new one. He meets Ali, a very talented skater who also happens to be distractingly cute, and works with her on his tricks and routine. He is afraid to practice at the skate park with her, however, lest his friends make fun of him. He also has to figure out how to get to the competition when his parents don't want him to go. After working hard and figuring out a lot of things, the competition goes worse than expected in some ways... and better in others.
Strengths: This was a really good skateboarding story. Jordy's relationship with Ali is real and sweet-- just what the boys want. Not mushy at all. The skate boarding details are good, and the contest is a much better plot line than "people don't want a skate park". Need more books like this!
Weaknesses: The Canadian setting might be hard for some of my students (a store for just fruit and vegetables? Slabs of meat hanging?), and the cover, like all of the ones in this Lorimer and Company series, is beyond awful.

Marvelous Middle Grade Monday is a recurring feature at Shannon Whitney Messenger's Ramblings of a Wannabe Scribe blog. Hop over there to check out a list of great middle grade reviews. Visit some new blogs and get come recommendations today!


  1. I can see where this story would be attractive to many young guys (and some girls too). Not many books on this topic. Thanks for the recommendation.

  2. I agree that this sounds like a good premise (it's for a competition), and that it's nice there's no mush.

    I can't really make out the cover, but you are so right that a bad cover can be a complete turnoff!