Title: The Yo-Yo Prophet
Genre: Fiction, Realistic, School, Illness, Family, Talent
Rating: 3 out of 5
Calvin lives with his grandma above their dry cleaning shop. It has just been him and “Gran” since his mom died and his dad left town. Now Gran is sick and she must sell the business, which means that they have to find a new place to live. Calvin is sure he can help with the finances and decides to put his yo-yoing skills to good work by performing on the street for money.
Rozelle, a girl from school, forces her way into being his manager and sets up gigs for Calvin and his yo-yo act, keeping half his earnings. Calvin is a likeable character who is struggling to keep it together under the stress of all that is going on. The relationship between Calvin and his grandma is realistically portrayed and the ending, including the resolution with his dad, feels authentic. Readers will root for Calvin to stand up to Rozelle and triumph in the end.
The yo-yoing scenes are well-written and keep the action moving. I read this book while watching America's Got Talent with the teenage yo-yo act, so I really felt like I could imagine just how good Calvin was. I think this book will have readers looking up "how to" videos on YouTube. This is a fun book and a quick read and I think a perfect fit for middle school.