A Single Seed

Lockdown – Walter Dean Myers
January 7, 2011, 10:10 pm
Filed under: Jail

Reese is the best inmate at Progress juvenile detention facility.  He’s been on good behavior and has just begun a work program at a nearby retirement facility.  However, recently he’s found himself in the wrong place at the wrong time.  In jail there is always a pecking order of strongest to weakest, and it’s survival of the fittest in there.  Reese can’t help but intervene when one of the more helpless guys gets targeted.

Unfortunately behind bars, doing what you think is right can ruin your chances at a future.  Now Reese doesn’t know if he’ll get out or not.  And even if he does, what’s he got to return to?  He’s still going back to the streets where he came from.  Is there any hope for a better life?

View a 1 minute clip here:

The book shows how there are many prisons to our lives that may not necessarily need to be made with steel bars.  Mr. Hooft, a resident at the nursing  home, explores his own feelings of loneliness and imprisonment within the facility and in a state of old age.  This book will appeal to young readers who can enjoy a strong emotional connection with boy in a tough situation.  It explores the harsh realities of society in our country and how even the right answers or right decisions do not always equal the American dream.  Lockdown explores the necessity to make up your own life story no matter in what situation you find yourself.

Teachers may want to look into Jay-Z’s book Decoded as a supplemental text as it provides annotations to his lyrics explaining the culture and history of rap music.

Also be mindful that there is some use of strong language throughout the book.  While by all means appropriate and necessary to the story, it may not be for all readers, especially those in the middle grades.