Caley’s new home is much different than the disciplined but comfortable life he was used to. As a rising martial arts champion whose adoptive father produces martial arts movies, Caley’s danger comes in the form of formal competitions not the daily fear of gang violence. But the change also brings new opportunities. For the first time, Caley has a real friend, Quinn, and he is attending school instead of his usual on-set tutoring. As their friendship grows, Quinn guides Caley through the maze of gang wars and rivalries while trying to discover his own place in his world. Among the people that Caley befriends, six year old Nicky strikes a chord in Caley that he can’t explain. He feels like he needs to protect the child from the brutality of his life. Nicky’s sudden disappearance brings Caley full circle to confront his own forgotten past as Quinn learns the real meaning of loyalty and friendship. jerjonji’s new novel exposes the realities of gang life without stereotyping characters.
This is "Red Kicks" by jerjonji. This book is 352 pages raising awareness about gang violence.
When Caley transfers locations, because of a terrible mistake he made the pressure is all on him. That is, until he meets Quinn, a young gang member, having the same problems as him, but more extreme. They become friends after a teacher makes them work together to bring up their grades. Then there's little Nicky that takes an instant liking to Caley and Quinn. What Caley and Quinn don't know is that what used to be gang rivalry is now turning into a bloodbath with secrets on both sides of the war. Nicky doesn't know that him existing is dangerous to everyone, including himself. Why is there a war between gangs? Is Nicky safe? What will happen to Caley and Quinn's forbidden friendship?
This was a very good book!! I definitely recommend you read this book to raise your awareness of gang violence, which is why jerjonji wrote this book. I applaud you, jerjonji, for your great job on this book. I will warn you guys that it is quite sad, but it has a great ending. I would recommend this for young adults, because of sexual themes and graphic violence, but teen can read it if their parents allow.