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Benito Runs
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Benito Runs
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Running away is the only option.Benito's father, Xavier, had been in Iraq for more than a year. When he returns, Benito's family life is not the same. Xavier suffers from PTSD—post-traumatic...
Running away is the only option.Benito's father, Xavier, had been in Iraq for more than a year. When he returns, Benito's family life is not the same. Xavier suffers from PTSD—post-traumatic...
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  • Running away is the only option.

    Benito's father, Xavier, had been in Iraq for more than a year. When he returns, Benito's family life is not the same. Xavier suffers from PTSD—post-traumatic stress disorder—and yells constantly. He causes such a scene at a school function that Benny is embarrassed to go to back to Southside High. Benny can't handle seeing his dad so crazy, so he decides to run away. Will Benny find a new life? Or will he learn how to deal with his dad—through good times and bad?

About the Author-

  • Justine Fontes was born in New York City. She grew up on Long Island and later graduated Phi Beta Kappa with a B.A. in English Liternature from New York Univeristy. Justine found her first job in publishing while she was a Freshman. She worked at various publishing houses before becoming a freelance writer. At Little Golden Books, Justine met her future husband, Ron Fontes. They started writing together and have written over 500 children's books. Justine and Ron moved to Maine in 1988.

Reviews-

  • Kirkus

    February 15, 2011

    Each book in the high-interest/low-reading-level Surviving Southside series is narrated by a different student at Texas' racially diverse Southside High School. Here, Benito's dad comes home from the war in Iraq. The family has been looking forward to his return, but he now has PTSD and is prone to loud, embarrassing outbursts. Ultimately, Benito leaves the house on an ill-fated bus journey. Plan B, in which a drunken first sexual experience leads to an unplanned pregnancy, tells a familiar story but comes to an open-ended resolution. In Recruited, star quarterback Kadeem faces a moral dilemma: Accept the scholarships, academic string-pulling and cheerleaders' attention offered by Teller College's recruiting coach, or blow the whistle on Teller's illegal recruiting practices. Each book is straightforward, with action beginning immediately and every detail moving the story ahead. Resolutions come quickly (each volume hovers just around 100 pages) and are sometimes unsatisfyingly tidy. Occasionally, a relevant detail is left out—it is never explained, for instance, why NCAA recruiting rules forbid aggressive tactics—but overall, these are solid, simple stories. For reluctant readers and fans of the Bluford High series. (Fiction. 12-14)

    (COPYRIGHT (2011) KIRKUS REVIEWS/NIELSEN BUSINESS MEDIA, INC. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.)

  • School Library Journal

    April 1, 2011

    Gr 7 Up-Similar to the "Bluford" series (Townsend), these high-interest contemporary urban fiction books focus on teenagers trying to navigate adolescence in the midst of difficult situations. After Benito's father is deployed to Iraq, the teen does his best to be the man of the house. When Xavier returns, the family is overjoyed, but soon realize that being a soldier has changed him from the cheerful soccer-playing dad they knew into someone who is fearful, tense, and angry. With the strength of their family bond, they struggle to help him and to regain the closeness and stability they once enjoyed. In Plan B, Lucy's life is perfect; she has a caring mother, great friends, and, best of all, a boyfriend whom she loves. However, after Lucy and Luke make a careless decision, their lives change forever, and she needs to find the right answer for them. In Recruited, Kadeem is ecstatic when scouts shower him with gifts, dinners, and parties and he realizes that his dream of playing college football may be coming true. His happiness quickly turns to dread, though, as he learns that the incentives offered to him are violations of recruitment policy. Given the chance to help stop the unethical behavior, he has to make a heartfelt decision. These well-written stories reinforce the importance of family, friends, values, and thoughtful decision-making. Characters that readers will identify with and care about are combined with realistic plots that reflect society today. Excellent purchases, these books will attract and engage reluctant readers.-Margaret Auguste, Franklin Middle School, Somerset, NJ

    Copyright 2011 School Library Journal, LLC Used with permission.

  • Library Media Connection

    "Students at Southside High are dealing with real-life dilemmas, such as pregnancy, military deployment, and football recruitment. Readers are given examples showing that each choice has consequences. This series highlights middle class high school students dealing with issues that hit home today. Different authors tackle different issues, but each novel is similar in style. A likable character is introduced who seems to live an ordinary life. The character then struggles with options. Finally they make the right decisions and leave the reader thinking about each situation. The series is written at a lower level for older students. The topics are interesting and relevant, and present characters readers can empathize with. With each novel being around 100 pages, students who struggle with reading or finding interesting material to read should pick one up. Recommended." —Library Media Connection

Title Information+

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    Lerner Publishing Group
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