Recommended Age, Grade, and Reading Levels
- Age: 12 to 18
- Grade: 8 to 12
- Reading age: 12 to 18
Zee and his friends are angry that their old haunt has been replaced by stores that are off-limits to them and storekeepers who treat them with distrust. To let the merchants know what he and his friends think, Zee paints graffiti on the wall of the hardware store. After the wall is repainted, Zee decides to repeat the vandalism, but this time with more artistic flair. A store owner catches him in the act and threatens to call the police--unless Zee agrees to repair the damage.
Also available in Spanish.
About the author
- Winner, Chocolate Lily
Excerpt: Zee's Way (by (author) Kristin Butcher)
I scrambled back to the sidewalk and started cramming everything into my pack. At least I tried to. But nothing wanted to go. Paint tubes squirted through my fingers; brushes got caught in the sidewalk cracks. My water bottle rolled away. And that's when I realized there was someone standing near the end of the wall. I looked up. My mouth went dry. It was a man with a baseball bat. "I thought I might find you here tonight," he said.
"Speaks to the pitfalls of miscommunication and assumptions but also to the power of second chances...this story may resonate with teenagers who feel they are unfairly judged based on their appearance."
“Butcher is a skillful writer who manages, in the space of 104 pages and with a vocabulary geared to a 3.2 reading level, to render a believable main character...Many young readers, but especially boys, will relate to the injustice of the adults’ attitudes and actions towards Zee and his friends.”