Book Review: Response

Paul Volponi's Response starts with an African American teen being beaten with a baseball bat by a group of white teens. Why were Noah, the main character, and his friends in a white neighborhood? Because they wanted to steal a car and send it off to a chop shop. Did the teens who attacked Noah and his two friends know that they planned on stealing a car? No. Therefore, the white teens, who beat Noah and his friends and shouted racial epithets, were charged with a hate crime.

The wonder of this story is that there is so much to think about. The plot is fairly simple, but raises all sorts of moral and ethical questions. Unfortunately, there are all kinds of real-world connections that can be made between this book and actual hate crimes that have happened in recent years. This book reads so realistically that it feels like it could be true. This is a great book for anyone interested in justice and equality. I know that I'll be thinking about it for a long, long time to come!