The Hard Way

Shortly after moving from small-town Johnson Place to the metropolitan borough Manor City, Paul Jones meets his neighbor Desmond Peterson and they become instant friends, bonding over their love of a video game called Tangorka. When Desmond moves away just before the start of their freshman year of high school, Paul wonders if he’ll ever find a friend like Desmond again. After suffering through four months of school without someone to hang out with, he makes fast-friends with a fellow Tangorka player—a kid named Anik Hatcher who Paul meets in after-school detention. Paul starts spending time with Anik outside of school and meets his gang that creates mischief throughout Manor City. But the mischief quickly turns into real violence, and once Paul becomes a key player in their most harmful “prank” yet, he’ll soon learn who his real friends are—and how the decisions he makes, good or bad, can quickly affect his whole life.

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Selma P. Verde

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