The Usual Suspects
Author(s): Maurice Broaddus
Fans of Jason Reynolds and Sharon M. Draper will love this oh-so-honest middle grade novel from writer and educator Maurice Broaddus.
Thelonius Mitchell is tired of being labelled. He's in special ed, separated from the "normal" kids at school who don't have any "issues". That's enough to make all the teachers and students look at him and his friends with a constant side-eye. (Although his disruptive antics and pranks have given him a rep too.)
When a gun is found at a neighbourhood hangout, Thelonius and his pals become instant suspects. Thelonius may be guilty of pulling crazy stunts at school, but a criminal? T isn't about to let that label stick.
A nuanced and revealing look into the systemic divisions of class, race and neurodiversity, The Usual Suspects is a funny, compelling mystery.
Thelonius Mitchell, 12, is in special ed, separated from the “normal” kids at school. Known for pulling pranks and setting his fellow students off, Thelonius and his cohorts in special ed are always followed by side eyes from students and teachers alike. When a gun is found near school grounds, and with the special ed class now under suspicion, Thelonius takes it upon himself to clear their name.
Working together with his best friend Nehemiah, the boys start their investigation. Their work brings them up against a diverse set of characters, from misguided teachers, honour students who run secret contraband candy trades, and many more.
The Usual Suspects has as much intrigue and drama as any prison movie while also being fun, charming and downright hilarious.
"Readers will love watching these two uniquely gifted black boys explore the complicated tensions between impulses and choices, independence and support, turnin' up and getting through." -- Kirkus Reviews (starred review)
"A rare and much-needed glimpse into the world of exceptional learners." -- School Library Journal
"[Broaddus] sheds revealing light on the nature of systemic profiling, based on class, race, and neurodiversity, at schools and within society." -- Publishers Weekly
"Through its discerning, young Black protagonist, [The Usual Suspects] tackles difficult subjects with nuance, humor, and heart, always bringing it back to the characters. A great choice for upper middle-graders in search of a fun and meaningful read." -- Booklist
"I want this book, so full of wit and intelligence, raw honesty and clever plotting, to be so well known that when I say "The Usual Suspects" to a room of librarians, their first thoughts involve neither Casablanca or Keyser Soze but this work by Maurice Broaddus." -- School Library Journal Review of the Day
Maurice Broaddus, a community organizer and teacher, has written and edited short stories for a number of magazines as well as authoring several novels and novellas for adults. Learn more about him at www.mauricebroaddus.com.
- : 9780062796325
- : HarperCollins Publishers Inc
- : Katherine Tegen Books
- : 45359200.0
- : October 2020
- : .576 Inches X 5.125 Inches X 7.625 Inches
- : books
- : Maurice Broaddus
- : Paperback
- : English
- : 813.54
- : 288