|Publisher: Precipitation Press|
Cover Price: $15.95
List Price: $0.99
The Word Gang is the story of three kids in an alternative program called Project Restart. All of the kids in this classroom are here because they don't fit into the mainstream of students due to behavior and academic issues. Kalisha knocks heads with the head administrator of the program from day one, setting into motion a conflict that will have a large impact on everyone around her.
After befriending an elderly gentleman in her apartment building, Kalisha receives an old dictionary from him as a gift. When she starts to use her new, big, and mostly obsolete words Kalisha finds out just how much power words can have. Kalisha and her new friends decide to use these new words to destroy Project Restart.
"That is, if they don't get trammeled, proscribed, or incarcerated, first."-quoted from book's synopsis.
Mark McKenna, the author, says that (and I'm paraphrasing here) he wanted to examine the education system, both the good and the bad, and he wanted to provide a book that could be educational and fun. McKenna has masterfully managed to do both, while providing the reader with an entertaining story full of lessons to be learned. There are the obvious lessons that not all teachers are bad, but neither are they all good. They are people, they are flawed, they are limited in their power to make change, they do care, they do try. Another obvious lesson is the plethora of words you are going to read, and hopefully learn, in this book. Keep a dictionary handy!
Less obvious lessons are not to judge a person by what you see on the outside, and to keep yourself open to new people and things. Until you've truly taken the time to get to know a person intimately you can't know what goes on in their lives or why they're motivated to make the decisions they make.
Through a cast of characters, both simple and complex, the reader finds out just how powerful words can be. They can be wielded for so much good, but they can also be wielded in ways that do irreparable harm. They should be used with the same care and caution as any other physical object. Will you use it to build something or will you use it to destroy?
Extra from Mark McKenna: " I did write a "Readers and Teachers Supplement to The Word Gang" which is available as a free download on my website. http://www.thewordgang.com/
*Disclosure: I received this book for free in exchange for a review*
I've added a post below of a poem McKenna quoted in The Word Gang. I loved it too much to not include it.