Wednesday, February 15, 2012

The Price of Loyalty by Mike Castan

Manny starts middle school, relieved he's with his best friends Hernan and Cisco. When someone mentions they look like they're a gang during lunch one day, Manny jokes they're called the Conquistadors.

He may have meant it as a joke, but the joke gets serious fast. The guys suddenly take offense at the slightest things and dress and act alike. Manny goes along, unwilling to be a part of the group but afraid to break away.

The guys start getting into drugs, pulling pranks, and other kinds of trouble. Manny likes them less and less, but when a fight breaks out and two guys end up in the hospital, he struggles to decide the right thing to do. Should he stay loyal or should he tell the authorities what he knows?

Starts off slow, but it does get more interesting. Manny is a realistic and true character. While I'd like to believe these things are happening in middle school...reality is, they are. And middle school students will definitely relate to Manny.

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