Kicked Out. Goobie, Beth. Orca, 2002. ISBN 978-1551432441 92 pp. $
After Dime’s older brother is relegated to a wheelchair as a paraplegic after a car accident, Darren’s situation seems to hit his sister harder than in hits him. Dime, a motorcycle enthusiast with a dyed pink Mohawk, acts out in a attempt to live loud and fast instead of trying to live up to her good brother’s reputation. When things get too tense at home, their parents allow Dime to accept Darren’s invitation to move in with him for a while, but will distance alone solve their problems?
Like other books in the Orca Soundings series, the slim volume tackles an issue that might be appropriate for a rousing class discussion: in this case, differently abled / family relationships. This is a high-low book that has a vibrantly colorful main character, and every teens dream: getting some freedom from Mom and Dad in a safe environment. Simple yet varied vocabulary and language realistic enough to keep the attention of teens while remaining clean enough for classroom use are highlights of all the books in the series. Canadian author Goobie has a particular flair for creating dramatic yet believable situations, and is a rising star on the forefront of YA literature.
School and public librarians will be overjoyed to discover this high quality new series for reluctant and struggling readers. Highly recommended for middle school and up.