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MESSED UP by Janet Nichols Lynch


by Janet Nichols Lynch

Age Range: 12 & up

Pub Date: April 15th, 2009
ISBN: 978-0-8234-2185-5
Publisher: Holiday House

R.D.’s life is messed up. He’s repeating eighth grade, his mother’s in prison for dealing crack and his father is a Mexican citizen, location unknown. R.D. was being raised by his grandparents in a neighborhood gone to hell, but his grandmother has run off with a trucker named Harry and his grandfather Earl has died, so R.D. is left to fend for himself. Lynch’s first-person narration is lively and immediate, sensitively delineating character and setting and expertly tracing the transformation of a young man readers will care about. After much floundering, R.D. cleans house, learns to cook, does laundry and even starts doing his school work. It turns out that underneath R.D.’s cynical and disaffected facade resides the intelligent and brave Richard Diaz, learning to do the right things in life. As his teacher, Miz Trueblood, says, “You’re going to get along in this world just fine, R.D.” A memorable story of grit and survival, and helping hands along the way. (Fiction. 12 & up)