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Breakout by [Kate Messner]

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Breakout Kindle Edition

4.7 out of 5 stars 332 ratings

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Editorial Reviews

From School Library Journal

Gr 4–6—Nora and Lizzie have grown up in Wolf Creek, a small town where Nora's father is superintendent of the maximum security prison. Elidee, one of only two African American students at Wolf Creek Middle School, recently moved there to be closer to her brother who is incarcerated in Wolf Creek Correctional Facility. When two inmates escape, tensions begin to rise. The story is told through letters and other documents by the three girls. Nora reports on the breakout, Lizzie parodies these reports, and Elidee writes poetry inspired by Jacqueline Woodson and Lin-Manuel Miranda. Readers also see text messages, school announcements, comics, and transcribed conversations. The book is a rich source of writing examples which can become didactic: at one point, students duly follow their teacher's instructions on persuasive writing to write petitions. The broad range of writing formats is engaging, however, and allows readers to understand the varying viewpoints of Nora, Elidee, and Lizzie. Messner places issues of race and criminal justice at the center of the story: Elidee frequently encounters racism in Wolf Creek, Lizzie learns about racial imbalances in the prison population, and Nora's older brother tells her about Black Lives Matter. The few middle grade titles that include characters in prison in a contemporary setting (Leslie Connor's All Rise for the Honorable Perry T. Cook, Deborah Ellis's Jakeman) don't discuss these issues so explicitly. VERDICT An accessible format and a unique focus on contemporary issues of criminal justice and racial bias make this an essential purchase.—Lisa Goldstein, Brooklyn Public Library --This text refers to the hardcover edition.

Review

“An effective, authentically wrought look at how fear and ignorance can lead people to treat those of different races or from different places with suspicion. Messner shines a light on the ways that people are blind to their own privilege while quick to judge others.” ―Publishers Weekly, starred review

“An accessible format and a unique focus on contemporary issues of criminal justice and racial bias make this an essential purchase.” ―School Library Journal, starred review

“A sensitive coming-of-age tale about waking up to injustice and where that knowledge can lead.” ―Kirkus Reviews

“Timely and relevant.” ―The Horn Book Magazine

“Successfully balances excitement with larger issues, ripe for classroom discussion.” ―Booklist

“Authentic . . . . Middle school worries and social issues skillfully woven into a moving, hopeful, STEM-related tale.” ―Kirkus Reviews, starred review, on THE EXACT LOCATION OF HOME

“Vivid characters and situations, along with clear, simple writing and plotting, make this an accessible and enlightening read. A gentle but truthful look at poverty and homelessness.” ―School Library Journal, starred review, on THE EXACT LOCATION OF HOME

“An empathetic, beautiful, magical, fiercely necessary book that stares unflinchingly at the very real challenges contemporary kids face and gently assures them they are not alone. Kate Messner gives her readers a story to cherish.” ―Anne Ursu, author of BREADCRUMBS and THE REAL BOY on THE SEVENTH WISH

“Hopeful, empathetic, and unusually enlightening.” ―Kirkus Reviews, starred review, on THE SEVENTH WISH

“Rich and daring . . . As she did in All the Answers, Messner lightens a heavy theme with a bit of magic.” ―Publishers Weekly on THE SEVENTH WISH

“It's no surprise that Kate Messner's magic pen could write a charming, moving, funny, and ultimately very surprising story about a magic pencil!” ―Wendy Mass, New York Times best selling author of 11 BIRTHDAYS on ALL THE ANSWERS

“Will appeal to Wendy Mass fans as well as those who love Messner's previous novels.” ―School Library Journal on ALL THE ANSWERS

--This text refers to the paperback edition.

Product details

  • ASIN ‏ : ‎ B079NLGVYG
  • Publisher ‏ : ‎ Bloomsbury Children's Books; 1st edition (June 5, 2018)
  • Publication date ‏ : ‎ June 5, 2018
  • Language ‏ : ‎ English
  • File size ‏ : ‎ 26894 KB
  • Text-to-Speech ‏ : ‎ Enabled
  • Enhanced typesetting ‏ : ‎ Enabled
  • X-Ray ‏ : ‎ Not Enabled
  • Word Wise ‏ : ‎ Enabled
  • Print length ‏ : ‎ 370 pages
  • Lending ‏ : ‎ Enabled
  • Customer Reviews:
    4.7 out of 5 stars 332 ratings

About the author

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Kate Messner is passionately curious and writes books that encourage kids to wonder, too. Her titles include award-winning picture books like Over and Under the Rainforest, Up in the Garden and Down in the Dirt, The Next President, and How to Read a Story; novels that tackle real-world issues like Chirp, Breakout, All the Answers, and The Seventh Wish; high-interest nonfiction like Tracking Pythons and the History Smashers series; the Fergus and Zeke easy readers; and the popular Ranger in Time chapter books about a time-traveling search and rescue dog.

Kate’s titles are frequently selected for One School, One Book and One School/One Author programs and other community-wide reads. Her books have been New York Times Notable, Junior Library Guild, IndieBound, and Bank Street College of Education Best Books selections. Her novel The Brilliant Fall of Gianna Z. won the E.B. White Read Aloud Medal, and her science picture books have been finalists for the American Academy for the Advancement of Sciences/Subaru SB&F prize for excellence in science writing. In 2020, Kate was honored with New York’s Knickerbocker Award for creating a superior body of work supporting curriculum and educational goals.

Before becoming a full-time writer, Kate was a TV news reporter as well as a National Board Certified educator. She grew up in Medina, NY and graduated from Syracuse University’s S.I. Newhouse School with a degree in Broadcast Journalism. Kate spent seven years working as a television news producer and reporter in Syracuse, NY and Burlington, VT before going back to school to earn a master’s degree in education for secondary-level English Language Arts. She taught middle school language arts for fifteen years before leaving the classroom to write full time but still spends much of her time in schools, working with kids as a visiting author.

Kate lives on Lake Champlain with her family and is trying to summit all 46 Adirondack High Peaks in between book deadlines. Learn more at her website: www.katemessner.com and follow her on Twitter @katemessner.

Customer reviews

4.7 out of 5 stars
4.7 out of 5
332 global ratings

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