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Push Back
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Push Back

By Karen Spafford-Fitz

$12.95 Paperback
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$7.95 Ebook
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Series: Lorimer SideStreets

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Sixteen-year-old Zaine Wyatt has a lot to be angry about. His mother walked out of his life when he was 12, and he was kicked out of his Aunt Sarah's place by his uncle. After living on the streets and getting badly beaten up, he is back at Aunt Sarah's, but Zaine is still angry, afraid, and uncertain that he has a permanent place to live. When his mother breaks yet another promise to take him back, he flees to an empty art studio he has taken refuge in before. But now it is just a storage shed, and he vents his rage by trashing the place and injures the new owner as he flees.

Facing charges and a possible criminal record, Zaine agrees to participate in a restorative justice program to keep from being kicked out again by his aunt. Zaine works to fix the damage he has caused and helps the owner's disabled grandson Lucas get to and from school, but his attempts to stay on the right side of the law are challenged by a group of teens who want to recruit him into a gang. Can Zaine complete the restorative justice program and prove himself worthy of a home, whether with his mother or not?


Winner - Resource Links The Year's Best - Fiction Grades 7-12 - 2018

"Push Back is an engaging read that will offer opportunities for discussion of the justice system."

- Ruth McMahon, Librarian CM: Canadian Review of Materials

KAREN SPAFFORD-FITZ is an author and former junior high teacher. Her other SideStreets book Saving Grad was selected as one of The Year's Best by Resource Links. When researching Push Back, Karen relied on the expertise of a restorative justice facilitator who engages troubled youths in meaningful forms of justice and learning. When she is not speaking with students or writing, Karen is often training for her next half marathon. She lives in Edmonton, Alberta.

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Publication Details:

Binding: Paperback, 184 pages
Publication Date: 4th September 2018
ISBN: 9781459413757
Format: 7.5in x 5.25in

Binding: Hardback, 184 pages
Publication Date: 1st August 2019
ISBN: 9781459413771
Format: 7.5in x 5.25in

Binding: Electronic book text, 184 pages
Publication Date: 4th September 2018
ISBN: 9781459413764
Format: EPUB

BISAC Code:  YAF018060, YAF029000, YAF058020, YAF058130
Imprint: Lorimer

Interest age: From 13 To 18
Fry Reading Level [grade]: 4.0
Lexile Reading Level: HL600L


Similar titles:
Saving Grad

Tattoo Heaven

Trap Jam

Strange Beauty

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SideStreets Series

Edgy & realistic teen fiction

Series Website

Series features

  • Page-turning novels that engage reluctant readers
  • Presenting real-world issues in real ways
  • Award-winning, knowledgeable authors
  • Diverse characters and settings

"Sensitive and effective, these small, short books are explicitly aimed at reluctant readers." —Kirkus Reviews

"The quality of writing is excellent, and this book should be in every junior and senior- high school library...highly recommended."
—Canadian Book Review Annual

Sidestreets are edgy, fast-paced novels, that combine real-world themes and believable characters to make for short heart-stopping books - sure to engage the most reluctant reader.