CM . . .
. Volume XIV Number 9 . . . .December 21, 2007
Remy, having spent several months behind bars for the very brutal assault of a man, has just returned home. But within three days, he is swept back into the violence that characterizes his life, especially when he's in the company of his male peers. While he was away, another group, having lost their own basketball court to a condo development, moved into the area to take over "his" basketball court. Complicating things for Remy is the fact that his former girlfriend, Asia, is now dating Marcus, the leader of the newcomers. Asia felt abandoned by Remy while he was away, yet now she asks Remy to warn Marcus about the danger of carrying a knife, especially if he is caught by the police. Wary of Marcus, Remy is subsequently torn between his loyalty to his friends and his desire to win back Asia's love. Meanwhile, the presence of Dunlop, a bitter cop traumatized by an attack that left his partner dead, is back on patrol and setting his sights on both Remy and Marcus.
Norah McClintock's Down, another fine title in the "Orca Soundings" series, draws in reluctant readers with its dramatic action and brief scenes. The first person voice puts the reader directly in the centre of the story, providing the opportunity to closely experience Remy's bleak future at home and in the community. Violence and conflict pervade the story, from a gang-style basketball court fight to the machete attack that Asia and her family barely survived in their home country. The addition of Dunlop as a figure of authority provides the element of a police drama that will appeal to television watchers. Yet despite the conflict and evident poverty, readers will also appreciate Remy's desire to find some paid work and his need to be loved.
Thom Knutson is Saskatoon Public Library's Youth Services Coordinator.
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Copyright © the Manitoba Library Association. Reproduction for personal use is permitted only if this copyright notice is maintained. Any other reproduction is prohibited without permission.