The Second Chance of Darius Logan

Scholastic. Jul. 2024. 384p. Tr $19.99. ISBN 9781338826425.
Gr 7 Up–After “The Attack” that killed his family, Darius Long is forced to survive by any means possible in a world turned upside down. He moves through the post-Attack foster system, making mostly okay decisions. But then he makes a bad one, a really bad one, and he’s caught holding a knapsack with enough of the illegal drug eXXeLL to get busted for distributing. He continues with his bad decisions and punches a cop to get away. Darius gets put into Second Chance, a new program to help people make better decisions instead of going to jail. The program is set up by Super Justice Force, a team of superheroes and crime fighters about whom Darius read comic books as a child. One adult is batting for Darius to succeed while the other does everything in his power to make sure he doesn’t. Add to this high-stakes life a future world that’s gone a little crazy and the setting is perfect to provide opportunities for character growth—or utter failure. Walker builds the post-apocalyptic world well and captures the essence his character, a young Black man who dreamed of superheroes and read comic books voraciously. The adventure and pacing are ideal, akin to Stephen Cole’s Thieves Like Us and Alexander Gordon Smith’s “Escape from Furnace” series. Short sentence structures, lots of action, and quick dialogue add to the speed and pacing of the story.
VERDICT A must-have for tween and teen libraries.

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