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The Resource Rikers High, Paul Volponi

Rikers High, Paul Volponi

Label
Rikers High
Title
Rikers High
Statement of responsibility
Paul Volponi
Creator
Contributor
Subject
Genre
Language
eng
Summary
Arrested on a minor offense, a New York City teenager attends high school in the jail facility on Rikers Island, as he waits for his case to go to court
Tone
Writing style
Character
Award
  • YALSA Popular Paperbacks for Young Adults, 2015.
  • YALSA Quick Picks for Reluctant Young Adult Readers, 2011
Review
  • Gr. 8-11 Recasting his specialty-press debut novel, Rikers (2002), for a younger audience, Volponi tracks a juvenile offender’s final 17 days in the New York correctional facility. Though arrested just for telling an undercover cop where to buy weed, Martin has spent five months at Rikers waiting for his case to come up. The experience has made him a canny observer of the prison ecosystem, good at keeping his head down and steering clear of gangs, extortion schemes, brutal correction officers, and other hazards . . . mostly. The author draws authentic situations and characters from his six years of teaching at Rikers, and though his scary cautionary tale is less harrowing than Adam Rapp’s Buffalo Tree (1997) or Walter Dean Myers’ Monster (1999), it is nevertheless an absorbing portrait of life in stir. In the end, Martin walks out on plea-bargained probation, bearing both inner and outer scars. Rare is the reader who won’t find his narrative sobering. -- Peters, John (Reviewed 12-01-2009) (Booklist, vol 106, number 7, p38)
  • Gr 8 Up— Martin Stokes is awaiting trial at Rikers Island, a New York City correctional facility. His alleged crime is steering: telling an undercover police officer where to buy marijuana in his neighborhood. Riding back to Rikers on a bus after his court date is rescheduled, Martin gets caught between two boys fighting and is cut in the face with a blade. He is assigned to a new unit, and the cut is both the first thing the boys in Sprung #3 notice about him and a metaphor for the indelible mark that prison will leave. In the new unit, Martin attends school for the first time on the Island. The plot is episodic, reflecting both the repetitiveness of daily existence in jail and its instability: one day the house is enjoying the fruits of its commissary visit; the next, the boys are being strip-searched after an apathetic teacher loses his metal chalk holder. Volponi, himself a teacher on Rikers Island for six years, brings to life a believable range of teachers, COs, and inmates and portrays power, hierarchies, and race relations both outside and inside the jail walls with unflinching realism. Martin's narrative voice is frank, conversational, and sometimes angry, and his language, including cursing, is perfectly suited to his character. Physical violence, masturbation, and suicide are all addressed honestly, and teen boys will relate.—Megan Honig, New York Public Library --Megan Honig (Reviewed January 1, 2010) (School Library Journal, vol 56, issue 1, p115)
  • Volponi (Homestretch ) recasts his adult novel, Rikers (Black Heron, 2002), for a teen audience that will likely be riveted. Seventeen-year-old Martin Stokes has been imprisoned for five months, awaiting trial for a petty crime. Returning from court, he cannot get out of the way when another inmate attacks the boy to whom he is shackled. Martin's face is slashed with a razor; the ensuing scar is a metaphor for the mark prison will leave on the boy, who is no angel (he tells his harried legal aid lawyer she is a “miserable shit”), but whose punishment bears absolutely no relationship to his crime. His break comes when a jailhouse teacher helps him see the importance of finishing school, setting Martin on a path to make the right choice when he's yet again thrust into a violent altercation not of his own making. Volponi, who taught on Rikers Island for six years, writes with an authenticity that will make readers feel Martin's fear. Ages 12–up. (Feb.) --Staff (Reviewed January 18, 2010) (Publishers Weekly, vol 257, issue 3, p50)
  • Five months after his arrest, 17-year-old Martin Stokes is still waiting on Riker's Island for his sentencing. He's picked up a few things during that time, including some GED coursework, many observations about the inequality of the justice system and a scar on his cheek from a slashing razor blade. Volponi's punchy, journalistic prose runs the gamut of emotions, propelling readers through relief and triumph before plunging them back into anger and frustration. Martin's inner workings are left largely unexplored, but his internal dialogue enables adequate character development. Using an amalgamation of real-life people and experiences as his basis to create a rich balance of despair and promise, the author provides a satisfying experience for all readers. These pooled personalities also give substance to secondary characters that might otherwise languish in the shadows. This tale of education and life on the Island will keep readers locked to the page. (Fiction. YA) (Kirkus Reviews, January 1, 2010)
Awards note
A Junior Library Guild selection
http://library.link/vocab/ext/novelist/bookUI
342773
Cataloging source
DLC
http://library.link/vocab/creatorName
Volponi, Paul
Dewey number
[Fic]
Index
no index present
Intended audience
790L
Intended audience source
Lexile
Interest level
UG
Literary form
fiction
http://library.link/vocab/ext/novelist/minGradeLevel
  • 8
  • 12
Reading level
5.3
http://library.link/vocab/relatedWorkOrContributorName
Volponi, Paul
http://library.link/vocab/resourcePreferred
True
Study program name
Accelerated Reader AR
http://library.link/vocab/subjectName
  • Jails
  • Prisoners
  • Juvenile delinquency
  • African Americans
  • Jails
  • Prisoners
  • Juvenile delinquency
  • African Americans
  • African Americans
  • Jails
  • Juvenile delinquency
  • Prisoners
  • Rikers Island (N.Y.)
  • Rikers Island (N.Y.)
  • New York (State)
Target audience
adolescent
Label
Rikers High, Paul Volponi
Instantiates
Publication
Carrier category
volume
Carrier category code
  • nc
Carrier MARC source
rdacarrier
Content category
text
Content type code
  • txt
Content type MARC source
rdacontent
Control code
762144
Dimensions
22 cm
Extent
246 pages
Isbn
9780670011070
Isbn Type
(hardcover)
Lccn
2009022471
Media category
unmediated
Media MARC source
rdamedia
Media type code
  • n
System control number
  • (Sirsi) i9780670011070
  • (OCoLC)421146381
Label
Rikers High, Paul Volponi
Publication
Carrier category
volume
Carrier category code
  • nc
Carrier MARC source
rdacarrier
Content category
text
Content type code
  • txt
Content type MARC source
rdacontent
Control code
762144
Dimensions
22 cm
Extent
246 pages
Isbn
9780670011070
Isbn Type
(hardcover)
Lccn
2009022471
Media category
unmediated
Media MARC source
rdamedia
Media type code
  • n
System control number
  • (Sirsi) i9780670011070
  • (OCoLC)421146381

Library Locations

    • Central LibraryBorrow it
      710 W. Cesar Chavez St, Austin, TX, 78701, US
      30.2713021 -97.7460168
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