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ONE GOOD PUNCH by Rich Wallace

ONE GOOD PUNCH

By Rich Wallace

Age Range: 14 & up

Pub Date: Oct. 9th, 2007
ISBN: 978-0-375-81352-8
Publisher: Knopf

To everyone around him, Michael Kerrigan is “almost too good to be true.” He’s a runner hoping to compete in college, he writes obituaries as an editorial assistant for the Scranton Observer and he never hangs out with troublemakers. But when lockers are searched at East Scranton High School and marijuana is found in his, Michael is faced with a moral dilemma: “Where do you draw the line with your integrity? Do you protect yourself or your friend?” This isn’t an original dilemma for a young-adult novel, and here it’s never adequately played out or resolved. In fact, readers may get to the end of this too-brief work and wonder, “Where’s the rest?” Yet the story has a lot going for it: a solid first-person voice and lively dialogue, an innovative use of “not dead yet” obituaries to flesh out secondary characters and a superb depiction of Scranton and Michael’s oneness with his city. Readers will wish there were more to it. (Fiction. YA)