Sunday, May 20, 2012
by: Jefrey Naidoo

Section: Young Adult Book Reviews

April 2010 Newsletter

Reviewed by Jefrey Naidoo, Doctoral Student, University of Alabama, Tuscaloosa

Sixteen-year-old Diego has a problem managing his anger and this has lead to his latest trouble with the law after he bashes a gay student at his school. The story of  the teen, navigating his way through unresolved childhood trauma, represents to some extent a departure from Sanchez’ previous work. The protagonist’s failure to conquer his demons from the past results in the manifestation of irrational bouts of anger and retaliation when he is provoked, getting him put on self-requested probation. His probation officer, Mr. Vidas, helps him to successfully negotiate his arduous journey to equanimity, an odyssey which forces him not only to confront his past, but to lay aside some deep-rooted prejudices. Unfortunately, the book lacked the muchness of the author’s previous offerings. While it tackled some poignant subjects, its exploration was somewhat superficial, and the storyline seemed overly contrived, making it difficult to connect with its characters. Not Recommended.

Bait. Alex Sanchez. New York: Simon & Schuster Children's Publishing, 2009. 256 pp. $16.99 (Hardcover). ISBN 978-1416937722. Grades 6-9. English with some Spanish.
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