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ROOFTOP by Paul Volponi

ROOFTOP

By Paul Volponi

Age Range: 14 & up

Pub Date: June 1st, 2006
ISBN: 0-670-06069-0
Publisher: Viking

Clay arrives at his special drug treatment center/high school one morning to discover his estranged cousin Addison has joined the program. Since their mothers’ rift, the boys have spent no time together, and Clay’s cautious renewal of their friendship gradually builds with the knowledge that Addison has no intention of dropping his dealing, much less his addictions. Teachers, students and the families seem fairly ordinary until tragedy strikes, with Clay becoming a pawn in the politics and grief of those around him. Trying to save Darrell, Addison’s younger brother becomes the impetus for Clay to face his own bogeymen the same way he takes on the menacing neighborhood dog that has been terrifying him almost daily. Less cynical than Volponi’s first novel, Black and White (2005), this is still discussable for its handling of moral choices and the evasion of responsibility by our society’s need to reduce everything to fit our preconceptions. The symbolism is a little too obvious and the characters somewhat stock, but this second work follows closely in the steps of the first. (Fiction. YA)