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[Review] Pinned by Sharon Flake

July 24, 2012

Flake, Sharon.  Pinned. 224pp. Scholastic Press, October 1, 2012.  9780545057189.  Sharon Flake’s Pinned is a fast read that addresses multiple disabilities.  Wrestling team member Autumn is an excellent on-the-mat strategist, but when it comes to reading, can’t quite wrap her arms around the skill and roll with it.  Her reading problems cause Autumn’s grades to slip.   Although she tries desparately to improve her academics, she is eventually dropped from the team.   Adonis, on the other hand,  is a strong reader and the team manager who is wheelchair-bound.  A birth defect has left him without legs below the knee joint. Autumn is crushing hard on Adonis and does everything in her power to be  near him.  Adonis is a bit self absorbed and is mostly annoyed by Autumn’s advances until he notices another student, Roberto, showing interest in Autumn.  The issues of self esteem and traditional gender roles, are touched upon, but could be handled with a bit more depth…an objective that Sharon Flake has addressed masterfully in past works such as The Skin I’m In (Hyperion, 1998) and Who am I Without Him (Hyperion, 2004).  No matter, her popularity among my middle school readers will no doubt keep this book in continuous rotation among both my avid and reluctant readers and the subject matter will trigger numerous discussions on peer pressure, gender roles, physical and learning disabilities and self esteem.

Read my library post on author Sharon Flake

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