Impulse: Tony Hawk's 900 Revolution, Vol. 2

Book review by
Barbara Lawrence, Common Sense Media
Impulse: Tony Hawk's 900 Revolution, Vol. 2 Book Poster Image
Action-packed skate adventure good for reluctant readers.

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A lot or a little?

The parents' guide to what's in this book.

Educational Value

This is a good pick for reluctant readers, who may want to check out all four books in the action-packed series. Also, readers get great background on skateboarding techniques and terms.

 

Positive Messages

There is a hopeful message here about redemption. Slider has a hard life and is failing in school, but he is able to turn his life around when he makes a good choice to help his friends when they are in trouble.

Positive Role Models & Representations

Slider is a skateboarding 14 year-old who cuts class and shoots spitballs at his teacher, but what is important is that when given a choice, he chooses to do good and help his friends. There are other good role models as well, including Case, a police detective, who is kind and helpful to Slider. He gives Slider a much-needed shoulder to cry upon. His best friend Juliet is portrayed as a smart, strong teenage girl, and his foster brother -- who has committed some petty crimes and theft -- looks out for Slider and protects him.

Violence

This book features kidnapping, fighting, a skateboard versus truck chase scene around New York City, and some threatening bullies. But this reads like a video game and tweens won't find the violence disturbing.

Sex

Slider and his best friend, Juliet, lightly flirt with each other and have a first kiss at the end of the book.

Language

Slider uses "crap" when talking to himself. He hits the bad guy with his skateboard in the "crotch," hurting his "family jewels."

Consumerism
Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that this book is part of a series and a good pick for reluctant readers. Although Slider isn't an angel, when given a choice, he chooses to do good and help his friends. This book does feature kids who goof-off in class and cut school, and there are some fights, crimes (including a kidnapping), and other violence. But in the end, this action-packed story shows a kid who uses his skills to redeem himself and make a difference.

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What's the story?

Impluse is volume two in a four volume series that mixes skating, adventure -- and a little bit of magic. Slider is a great skater who careens through the streets of New York on his skateboard, but he is bored and failing in school. When his friend is kidnapped and his foster brother disappears, Slider learns to care about others for the first time. Using his ample skateboarding skills and a magical artifact -- a piece of the skateboard Tony Hawk used to perform his 900 degree revolution -- Slider sets out to save his friend, Juliet. Included is a 16-page graphic novel insert depicting the characters in a chase around New York City on skateboards.

Is it any good?

This easy-to-read novel with an exciting graphic novel insert will appeal to many teens, particularly boys who may not like reading but like action, adventure, sci-fi, and skateboarding. Readers will find it easy to root for Slider, a 14-year-old bumped from one foster home to another, and they will appreciate the lesson here as he finds the inner strength to help others.  

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about skateboarding. What are the stereotypes of skaters -- and what does this book do to either reinforce or dispel them? How does skateboarding affect Slider's life?

  • This book is part of a four-part series. Do you plan to read the other installments? What do you think happens next? What is fun about reading a series? Why are publishers interested in selling them?

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