Meet 14 year old Reese - locked up in the Juvenile Remand home called 'Progress'. The irony of this title doesn't escape him or the reader but Reese is determined to try to make progress. He is chosen for a work release scheme where he is to work in an old people's home. There he meets Mr Hooft, a man who has not forsaken his prejudices against races other trhan his own. As Reese gets to know Mr Hooft, the old man tells himof his own time in lockdown - as a child captured in South East Asia by the invading Japanese army during World War II. While the circumstances are very different, survival in the situation is not. Mr Hooft provides Reese with much needed perspective on his own situation. Reese has to overcome his own family circumstances and the streets of Harlem that continually rise to try to reclaim him.
This is a gritty read allowing the reader to confront their own prejudices and explore the themes of loyalty, bullying and changing oneself.
This book trailer was created by Savannah Dobson, who is an eighth grader from Pawnee, Texas.