>I included Rich Wallace’s One Good Punch on my last Amazon.com order to qualify for super-saver shipping. Wallace has a reputation for appealing to reluctant readers, and my offerings for these readers needed to be bulked up. At 114 pages, One Good Punch will surely be an attraction. The book’s brevity does not diminish its very thought-provoking themes, though.

Michael Kerrigan is a senior in high school in Scranton, Pennsylvania; he’s acutely aware of Scranton’s warts, but something that makes him want to improve the city’s reputation or stay for the long-haul, particularly since everyone he knows wants to leave as soon as they can. A track athlete and part-time obituary writer for the local paper, Michael appears to to have it all. College is a foregone conclusion; he’s going, and he’ll most likely do well. But one decision holds the potential to squash his aspirations. It’s the one good punch that could knock him out of commission.

Michael is a sympathetic character with many vicarious lessons. We often think that only bad people do bad things. Michael makes you re-evaluate that position. He’s not a bad person, and he doesn’t mean to do any harm, but this one decision brings him face-to-face with a heavy responsibility that includes paying off past debts.


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Filed under One Good Punch; Rich Wallace; reluctant readers; realistic fiction; young adult fiction

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