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Ethan, Suspended [Paperback]

Our Price $ 7.23  
Retail Value $ 8.50  
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Item Number 333293  
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Item Specifications...

Pages   265
Est. Packaging Dimensions:   Length: 8.2" Width: 5.4" Height: 0.7"
Weight:   0.6 lbs.
Binding  Softcover
Release Date   Feb 2, 2009
Publisher   Eerdmans Books for Young Readers
Age  13-17
ISBN  080285317X  
EAN  9780802853172  

Availability  0 units.

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Item Description...
After getting in trouble at his previous school in Pennsylvania, thirteen-year-old Ethan Oppenheimer is sent to live with his grandparents in urban Washington, D.C. where he becomes the only white, jewish student in a school of African-Americans and Hispanics. Reprint.

Publishers Description
After getting suspended from school, Ethan Oppenheimer is uprooted from his comfortable suburban life in Pennsylvania and sent to live in Washington, D.C., with grandparents he hardly knows. At Parker Junior High, he stands out as the only white student. Making friends there is difficult; fitting in, impossible. It doesn't help that his overprotective grandparents expect him to live their old-fashioned, frugal lifestyle. / As he tries to find his way in this new world, Ethan also struggles with issues from the world he left behind guilt about the events surrounding his suspension, anxiety about his parents' separation, loneliness for the company of his family and friends. / Slowly, Ethan adjusts. He makes a few friends; he joins the jazz band and learns a new instrument; he even gets used to dried-out dinners at 4:30 pm. Along the way he learns a lot about prejudice and acceptance and about himself and his changing family situation.

Buy Ethan, Suspended by Pamela Ehrenberg from our Christian Books store - isbn: 9780802853172 & 080285317X

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More About Pamela Ehrenberg

Register your artisan biography and upload your photo! Pamela Ehrenberg has been an educator for ten years, and she currently serves as a consultant for the National Council for Accreditation of Teacher Education in Washington, D.C.

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Reviews - What do our customers think?
Solid YA Debut  Dec 28, 2007
This debut YA novel takes the classic fish-out-water setup and applies it to a good Jewish kid from suburban Philadelphia. After getting into some minor trouble with friends, Ethan Oppenheimer is suspended from school. His timing is bad though -- his parents are in the midst of a separation, his mother can't cope with anything, and so she dumps him with his grandparents in Washington, D.C. The real kicker is that it's not just for the holiday break... Unbeknownst to him, Ethan is supposed to finish the school year at a public high school in D.C. where he'd be the only white kid!

This setup (more or less the opposite of "The Fresh Prince of Bel Air") allows the story to explore plenty of social and political issues from the perspective of a middle-class white kid (ie. pretty much the target audience for most YA fiction). Ethan is confronted for the first time with issues of race (both the experience of being a minority, and the tensions between his black and Latino classmates), class (the relative poverty of his classmates, and the spendthriftiness of his grandparents), friendship (none of his friends from back home try to reach him, and figuring out how to make friends in DC is tough) and family (his sense of isolation from his sister who's in college, his dad who never calls, and his mother who calls seemingly against her will). These issues arise organically out of the story and never feel contrived, which is quite an accomplishment.

The book has a few minor flaws, for example one reason for Ethan's feeling of isolation is lack of internet access, however that could have been easily resolved by a trip to any public library, something Ethan would definitely had known. A subplot involving Washington's history during the civil rights era and Ethan's family doesn't lead to much of anything. And I felt that Ethan's experience as being the only white kid in a D.C. public school was probably much easier than it would be in reality. But these are relatively minor quibbles about a book that would be excellent for a teen or middle-school book/discussion group.

In general, the book feels wholly authentic, probably because the author taught in a junior high school in Washington, D.C. and has parents not unlike Ethan's grandparents! It's also to be commended for avoiding the kind of neat, tidy ending common to YA novels. Readers will face a little ambiguity at the end and not everything is spelled out, which might be frustrating to some, but feels true to life. Some answers can be found in "Ethan's" MySpace page where he blogs about what happens after the book ends...
Encore! Encore!  Jun 30, 2007
The world needs more books like Ethan Suspended, where today's real kids wrestle with today's real problems. After a series of unfortunate events in his suburban middle school, Ethan is left hanging, high and dry, in his grandparents' neighborhood of Washington, D. C. Like an immigrant from another planet, he has to adapt to survive. Some kids might try to blend in. Ethan knows that's not an option. Instead he becomes a standout as the first ever jazz oboist at Parker Middle School. Ehrenberg unflinchingly lays bare the challenges that middle school kids face every day. Ethan, Sherita, Daron, Felix, Diego - each is a real ordinary kid who might be just like the kid sitting next to you on the bus. Each has a story worth telling. This story will give kids plenty to talk about as they compare the people and problems in the book to people and problems they encounter every day. Readers who like Ethan Suspended might also enjoy Danger, Long Division where another real kid growing up in the shadow of our nation's capital struggles with school problems and absent parents. Also, coming soon, Finch Goes Wild tells the adventures of another middle school musician just across the river from Ethan's neighborhood.

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