for Pinned by Sharon G. Flake
Autumn is the only girl on her school wrestling team. She trains and works hard as an athlete but doesn’t put in nearly the same effort academically. Her difficulty reading impacts her ability to succeed in almost every class. Her parents insist that Autumn improve her grades or quit wrestling. They’re trying to be supportive by helping her, but reading is something with which they, too, struggle. Adonis manages the wrestling team and is a high academic achiever. Born without legs, he uses a wheelchair and has been raised by a mother who has always affirmed his abilities. But he’s still reeling from a bullying incident the prior year: All the intelligence in the world can’t save you when you’re drowning. Autumn has a crush on Adonis. Adonis can’t stop thinking about Autumn. He knows you have to be smart to be a good wrestler, so why does she do so poorly in school? Sharon Flake’s novel stands out for its strong characterizations, not only of her two protagonists but also of secondary characters. Uptight and rigid, Adonis starts to appreciate Autumn’s big heart only after his judgmental behavior forces her to take a step back and consider her own self-worth. A story told in the two African American teens’ alternating points of view deals with struggles and fears—of failing, of letting people in—that will resonate with many readers. (Age 12 and older)
CCBC Choices 2013. © Cooperative Children's Book Center, Univ. of Wisconsin - Madison, 2013. Used with permission.
Award-winning author, Sharon G. Flake, presents a powerful novel about a teen boy and girl, each tackling disabilities. Autumn and Adonis have nothing in common and everything in common. Autumn is outgoing and has lots of friends. Adonis is shy and not so eager to connect with people. But even with their differences, the two have one thing in common--they're each dealing with a handicap. For Autumn, who has a learning disability, reading is a painful struggle that makes it hard to focus in class. But as her school's most aggressive team wrestler, Autumn can take down any problem. Adonis is confined to a wheelchair. He has no legs. He can't walk or dance. But he's a strong reader who loves books. Even so, Adonis has a secret he knows someone like Autumn can heal. In time, Autumn and Adonis are forced to see that our greatest weaknesses can turn into the assets that forever change us and those we love. Told in alternating voices, Pinned explores issues of self-discovery, friendship, and what it means to be different.
Publisher description retrieved from Google Books.