Synopses & Reviews
When I first got to Progress, it freaked me out to be locked in a room and unable to get out. But after a while, when you got to thinking about it, you knew nobody could get in, either.
It seems as if the only progress that's going on at Progress juvenile facility is moving from juvy jail to real jail. Reese wants out early, but is he supposed to just sit back and let his friend Toon get jumped? Then Reese gets a second chance when he's picked for the work program at a senior citizens' home. He doesn't mean to keep messing up, but it's not so easy, at Progress or in life. One of the residents, Mr. Hooft, gives him a particularly hard time. If he can convince Mr. Hooft that he's a decent person, not a criminal, maybe he'll be able to convince himself.
Acclaimed author Walter Dean Myers offers an honest story about finding a way to make it without getting lost in the shuffle.
"Maurice 'Reese' Anderson is sentenced to 38 months in Progress, a juvenile detention center in New York, for stealing prescription forms for use in a drug-dealing operation. After 22 months, Reese, now age 14, is assigned to a work-release program at Evergreen, an assisted-living center for seniors. There he meets racist Mr. Hooft, who lectures him on life's hardships (having barely survived a Japanese war camp in Java), which causes Reese to reflect on his own choices. More than anything, he wants to be able to protect his siblings, who live with his drug-addicted mother, before they repeat his mistakes ('The thing was that I didn't know if I was going to mess up again or not. I just didn't know. I didn't want to, but it looked like that's all I did'). Reese faces impossible choices and pressures should he cop to a crime he didn't commit? stick out his neck for a fellow inmate and risk his own future? It's a harrowing, believable portrait of how circumstances and bad decisions can grow to become nearly insurmountable obstacles with very high stakes. Ages 12 up." Publishers Weekly (Copyright Reed Business Information, Inc.)
“Myers creates a nuanced, realistic portrait of a teen dealing with incarceration and violence. Myers gets his voice just right.” Voice of Youth Advocates (VOYA)
“A moving tale of a kid who may have made a mistake but who still deserves the modest future he seeks. Refreshingly avoids cliché.” Bulletin of the Center for Children & #8217;s Books (starred review)
“Masterful.” Kirkus Reviews
A "New York Times"-bestselling author takes readers into the world of Progress juvenile detention facility. It is possible for 14-year-old Reese to get a second chance when he's treated like a criminal, handcuffed and thrown into solitary confinement?
About the Author
Five-time Coretta Scott King Award winner Walter Dean Myers was the acclaimed author of a wide variety of nonfiction and fiction for young people. His nonfiction includes We Are America: A Tribute from the Heart; Now Is Your Time!: The African-American Struggle for Freedom; I've Seen the Promised Land: The Life of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.; Malcom X: A Fire Burning Brightly; and Patrol: An American Soldier in Vietnam, a Jane Addams Children's Book Award winner. His illustrious list of young adult novels includes Darius & Twig; All the Right Stuff; Lockdown; Dope Sick; Autobiography of My Dead Brother; New York Times bestseller Monster, the first winner of the Michael L. Printz Award; and many more. He was a National Ambassador for Young People's Literature and an inaugural NYC Literary Honoree.