Language G (0 swears 0 'f'); Mature Content: G; Violence: PG (Fight, child with a firearm).
BUYING ADVISORY: EL, MS - ESSENTIAL
AUDIENCE APPEAL: HIGH
12yo Jordan worries that he is his father's biggest disappointment. He has been messing up a lot lately, getting in trouble with his friend Mike, and not doing well in school - in fact, today he got suspended for cheating! But before Appa can find out about the suspension, he heads to their family store - the Rodney King verdict has just been announced, and their store is close to where the riots are - just a little away in Koreatown. Jordan wants to prove himself and is worried about his father being alone at the store with no protection. He knows where Appa's gun is hidden and decides to take it to him.
I could not put this down, as soon as I realized he was taking that gun I was hooked. I loved the sprinkling of Korean words and phrases, the family/friend dynamics, and the comments about the perceived impression of Asian kids "people think you're good and quiet and expect you to stay out of the way." Fast-paced and gripping, this historical fiction about a couple of boys on an ill-advised mission is perfect for middle school readers. The main characters are Korean.