Friday, August 30, 2019

Guy Friday- Dough Boys

Chase, Paula. Dough Boys (So Done #2)
August 27th 2019 by Greenwillow Books
ARC provided by Young Adult Books Central

Simp and Rollie both live in the Cove, and are doing they best they can in a rough neighborhood. They are both very interested in basketball, but being on the neighborhood team, the Marauders, also means that they work as lookouts during drug sales for their coach, Tez. Simp is glad to have the money to help out his mother and younger brothers, but Rollie doesn't like the illegal activity at all, and know that his church going grandmother would not be happy if she found out. Rollie is more interested in music. He is in the Gifted and Talented program at his school, and his music teacher, Mr. B., thinks he has a shot at the big time when a local boy band asks him to audition. Simp feels that basketball and living in the Cove are his only options, so when his mother indicates she knows where they money is coming from and wants him to get his younger brothers involved, he thinks this is a possibility. He is looking to move up in Tez's organization, but he fears that Rollie wants out. Rollie does, but he wants to support his best friend. He hopes that he can get into the band, and that will be his excuse for dropping the look out jobs. When Rollie is attacked because of his involvement with Tez, both boys reassess their activity and plan a new way forward.

This is a continuation of So Done, but can be read independently, even though Bean and Tai do show up in this volume. Since the main focus of the first book is dance, and this is more concerned with basketball, it will appeal to a different set of readers. There is plenty of basketball, certainly, but the major concern is Tez's drug running and the boys involvement with it. While I can think of books for older readers that involve this sort of activity, this is one of the few middle grade novels that have young teens working their way up in a drug organization. It is sad that this occurs in real life, but if we want books to be windows and mirrors for all readers, we need to include this substantial sub culture as well.

Rollie and Simp come from vastly different backgrounds. Rollie has a lot of support at home and doesn't have to worry about where his food is coming from. Simp, on the other hand, frequently pays for babysitting, rent, and food so that his brothers have a better life. His mother is not abusive, but is not a parent who supervises her children closely, either. It was interesting to see how Rollie's church going is portrayed, and how it is an integral part of his personality. Simp's concern for his brothers, and his wish that they have a more stable life than he has, is admirable.

Fans of Sharon Flake, Kekla Magoon, Coe Booth and the late Janet McDonald will enjoy Rollie and Simp's involvement with music, basketball, and the vibrant and sometimes dangerous environment of the Cove.

Once again, I had some trouble understanding the slang used. Slang tends to be very localized, and my only worry is that my students might have similar difficulty with the vocabulary, or that it will date quickly.

Kester, Eric. Gut Check.
August 13th 2019 by Farrar, Straus and Giroux (BYR)
Public library copy

LOVED Wyatt, but his story is definitely more YA. Purchase for high school or public libraries. From Goodreads: "Wyatt has wanted nothing more than to play football on Grayport's championship-winning team. But not for the fame, glory, or girls. It's his last chance to build a relationship with his older brother Brett, the star quarterback, before he leaves for college. Now that their team has gained national attention, a big win could be just what the small town needs in order to rebound from a fishing season that has been devastated by Red Tide. But when Brett suffers a terrible concussion, Wyatt must decide if keeping his brother's secret is worth risking his scholarship future. "

I don't know why so much Lands End stuff ends up in my local thrift store, but I am not going to complain! Both the sweater and shirt were almost brand new. Vintage, homemade (1990s) pencil skirt; I prefer pleats for riding my bike, but I've been walking to work more. Love the Far Side glasses pin!

Hope everyone has a great weekend. Picky Reader is coming to get furniture for her apartment. She currently has an inflatable bed, lamp on the floor, and a folding table and three chairs. I offered to help find things, but she declined. She does have a nice set of Fiesta Ware dishes and some Oneida silverware-- we are very picky about brands, but only if we can find them at the thrift store! (Helps to get the right size if I know the brand, as well, since things can't be tried on.)

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