Thursday, March 22, 2012

Riker's High Review

"Forty" is who Martin Stokes is known as at Rikers Island. Gone are the days of a normal life as a teenage boy, going to school, hanging out with his boys, living his life. He is a prisoner at a New York correctional facility, known by his bed number, Forty.

Martin's seemingly trivial crime has trapped himin the system for months, and he is counting down the days until his trial. On the return from a disapponting court appearance, his face is slashed with a razor, He is tortured with the fact that the scars will serve as a constant reminder of his time at Rikers. The scars will tell his story before he has a chance to.

This book is filled with vivid detail about daily life the section of the jail that houses the juvenile offenders, Sprung #3. Brutal corrections officers, unfair strip searches, prowling gangs, and a constant sense of fear and unease fill Martin's final days at Rikers. The one thing he enjoys in his present life is -- the part of the day when he is allowed to attend high school classes within the jail. For a brief time, he no longer feels like a criminal, but more like the person he was before he made his biggest mistake. His teacher, Mr. Demarco treats Martin like a student instead of a prisoner -- with respect and dignity. He gives Martin the hope that when he gets out, he WILL make something of himself.

Read this if you enjoy gritty, urban fiction with a heart. Paul Volponi makes this story seem realistic and draws you into the life of the characters.

Rating: 8 out of 10
Reading Now: The Fault in Our Stars by John Green

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

This book definitely makes one think.